Building a Safe State: Hybrid Diffusion of Building Code Adoption in American States

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9 Scopus citations


Although existing studies uncovered how controversial policies are adopted across American States, little is known as to how regulatory policies are diffused that are technically complex and yet have low political salience. Drawing on existing theories of policy adoption and diffusion, this article identifies the determinants of building code mandates in U.S. state governments. Using original data from state legislatures and administrative agencies from 1980 to 2006, this article finds that both emulation from neighboring states and innovation within the state government increase the likelihood of statewide building regulations. Code adoption follows a hybrid diffusion pattern, whereby external and internal mechanisms occur simultaneously rather than independently from each other.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-733
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © The Author(s) 2014.


  • building codes
  • event history analysis
  • policy diffusion
  • public employment


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