Intergovernmental alignment, program effectiveness, and U.S. homelessness policy

David Lee, Michael McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In the U.S. intergovernmental system, state governments can voluntarily and strategically align with federal government strategies and objectives. This study examines the effect of intergovernmental alignment on federal homelessness program outcomes. In 2010, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness started the first national-level comprehensive strategic plan on homelessness: Opening Doors. The Opening Doors plan highlights intergovernmental partnerships as effective tools to implement federal homeless programs to different levels of governments in order to achieve federal outcomes. Using a difference-in-differences methodology, we find that county governments that align their homelessness program with the federal and state government have better program outcomes than those that do not align intergovernmentally. Our findings help to expand our understanding of intergovernmental mechanisms as effective policy tools to achieve federal program outcomes at the local level in the absence of financial inducements or legal mandates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-647
Number of pages26
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CSF Associates: Publius, Inc.


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