Red Tape and Clean Air: Title V Air Pollution Permitting Implementation as a Test Bed for Theory Development

Barry Bozeman, Leisha Dehart-Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-177
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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