Legislative bodies -- United States -- States, Political planning -- United States -- States, United States -- Politics and government


The question of policy origination is the very essence of state public policy analysis. This study provides an overview of the previous research on innovation, as defined by Rogers (1962, 2003) and Walker (1969), and determinants models of state policy formulation, as they relate to innovation and policy adoption on the state level. The literature review indicates that previous research mostly focused on the internal state characteristics such as political and socioeconomic variables to explain state differences in policy adoption. The literature also indicates a general lack of empirical research relating diversity to innovation and policy adoption. State governments have to deal with diversified populations and workforces whether they want to or not. The number of immigrants from other countries as well as migrants from other states is constantly growing. For instance, in just the five years from 2000 to 2005, we added almost 5.5 million immigrants, and that figure represents only those who are documented. These people are coming from all over the world. They speak different languages, are accustomed to different foods, and have different religious affiliations. It would be unrealistic to expect them to have social and political values similar to those of people born and raised in the United States. The impact and the overall influence of such diversity on state policy formulation have not yet been fully explained. The growing importance of diversity in the United States calls for its inclusion into state policy adoption models. This study proposes a new model including a construct of diversity as one of the determinants of state policy adoption. The reasoning for the new model is twofold: first, to determine the potential influence of diversity on innovation, and second, to determine whether iv diversity also influences state policy adoption. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to test the proposed model in five different policy areas: education, health care, criminal justice, economic development, and environmental policies. Results of the analysis indicate that, while state diversity is positively associated with state innovation and state policy adoption, inclusion of state socioeconomic and political variables in the analysis decreases the relative influence of state diversity on innovation and policy outcomes. Furthermore, the relative influence of diversity, socioeconomic, and political variables differs among the policy areas used in this study. Three major themes are noticed here: the overwhelming significance of state political characteristics to state innovation, the relatively moderate significance of state socioeconomic characteristics to state policy outcomes and state innovation, and the low significance of state diversity variables to state policy outcomes.


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Graduation Date





Martin, Lawrence


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs, Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic