Susan Webb Yackee has a new paper over on JPART’s Advance Access using anchoring vignettes in a randomized survey experiment. While these techniques now are common in political behavior, they remain pretty rare in public management. And she has a nice finding on the old “capture” debate. Here’s the abstract:
I examine whether citizens who participate in agency rulemaking in the United States believe they have a meaningful voice. Using data drawn from 388 individuals, I employ an innovative survey research design approach—anchoring vignettes—to measure political efficacy during rulemaking, as well as a randomized survey experiment to study causal drivers. Despite powerful arguments associated with low efficacy, participants report, on average, “a lot of say” during rulemaking. However, experimental evidence suggests that participants believe agencies are more responsive to business interests than to those of ordinary citizens. When taken together, these results imply notable efficacy among those who participate. However, this normatively optimistic finding is tempered by the normatively pessimistic perception that business interests hold a clear advantage over the general public in influencing agency policy decisions.