The greatest test of a theory's utility is the degree to which it translates to subject areas for which it was not designed. This article conducts such a test, by applying an etiological theory of red tape to Title V of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Title V significantly expands the paperwork requirements for certain industrial sources of air pollution in an attempt to-among many other things-facilitate enforcement of air quality regulations, strengthen compliance by regulated companies, and enable citizen participation. We review basic red tape concepts, apply those concepts to Title V, and use the theory to assess Title V's potential for red tape. We conclude that the shifting political context of Title V implementation, its multitudinous goals, and its dubious behavioral forecasts render Title V a strong candidate for red tape. More fundamentally, we determine that the etiological theory of red tape has heuristic value, as suggested by its applicability to a topic not related directly to its public organization theory origins.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||37|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration