Elite Perceptions of Agency Ideology and Workforce Skill

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Authors Mark David Richardson, Joshua D. Clinton, David A. Lewis
Journal/Conference Name THE JOURNAL OF POLITICS
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Perceptions of the policy leanings of government agencies are an important component of an agency’s political environment, and an agency’s political environment can greatly influence how agencies formulate and implement public policy. We use a recent survey of federal executives to measure the perceptions of the ideological leanings of twice as many agencies as previously possible. Our estimates compare reassuringly to extant measures based on both expert evaluations and aggregations of the opinions of those working within agencies. We also develop a novel measure of perceptions of workforce skill. Given the prominence of the concepts of agency ideology and skill in theories of executive branch politics, the estimates we generate provide important opportunities for understanding agencies’ political environments and their implications for policy making. The generation of these measures also illustrates an approach to measuring hard-to-observe characteristics that could usefully be adopted in other contexts.
Date of publication 2018
Code Programming Language R
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