Diffusion of Innovation of Supply-Side Economic Development Policy: Explaining the Determinants of Local Government Enterprise Zone Adoption.

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Title: Diffusion of Innovation of Supply-Side Economic Development Policy: Explaining the Determinants of Local Government Enterprise Zone Adoption.
Author: Jolley, George Jason
Advisors: Denis O. Gray, Committee Member
Andy Taylor, Committee Member
Ryan Bosworth, Committee Member
G. David Garson, Committee Chair
Abstract: Despite the widespread study of diffusion of policy innovation among states, little is known the factors influencing adoption or the pattern of innovation among local governments. This study utilizes logit regression and Cox regression (also known as Cox proportional hazards modeling) to examine the predictive factors of local government enterprise zone adoption in Illinois. Utilizing counties as the unit of analysis, the demographic, economic, political, and regional diffusion factors influencing adoption of enterprise zones are examined over a 23-year period from 1981 to 2003. Representation by a sponsor of the enterprise zone legislation and having an unemployment rate higher than the state average are the strongest predictors of enterprise zone adoption within a county’s borders. Counties represented by a bill sponsor are 6.67 times more likely to adopt an enterprise zone compared to a county not represented by a bill sponsor. Likewise, each unit difference in higher unemployment rate compared to the state average means a county would be two times more likely to adopt. The findings support the importance of policy entrepreneurs, especially state legislators, in driving policy innovation in their districts. However, the enterprise zones were designated in counties with a higher than average unemployment rate suggesting those counties in economic need were more likely to receive the intended benefit. Consistent with prior studies of diffusion of innovation, the data reveal a pattern with some early adopters, many middle adopters, and fewer late adopters. When plotted, the data resembles a logistic “S†curve and natural breaks in the data exist for early, middle, and late adopters. The intent of this study was to develop a predictive model explaining enterprise zone adoption in Illinois. This study has limited generalizablity beyond Illinois and limited generalizability in application to mandated or non-voluntary enterprise zone adoption. However, the study provided an opportunity to test many of prior assumptions about the drivers of policy innovation at the local government level, which are rarely examined in the academic literature
Date: 2010-03-08
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Public Administration
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/4819


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