Tracking Changes in the Laboratory of the States
50 U.S. states with different policies provide much data which can be used to determine the best policy on a given issue. But it is difficult to keep track of what is going on in each state. Even if you have a dataset covering outcomes in each state, it is often difficult to find out exactly what policy each state followed in a given year. Finding this out sometimes requires digging through the records of every state legislature for every year being considered.
But for many issues other people have already done the digging, so all you need to do is find their work. For instance, the National Council of State Legislatures keeps track of policy changes for many issues. In my research however it seems like they missed some things and don’t explain what some bills actually did very well. On the more narrow field of privatization policy, the Reason foundation has a very good annual report on policy changes at the federal, state and local levels.
I would love to know about other organizations that do the work of tracking changes in state policy.
Written by James Bailey
April 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Posted in Social Science
Subscribe to comments with RSS.