INSTITUTIONALISM: INTERGOVERNMENTAL EXCHANGE, ADMINISTRATION-CENTERED BEHAVIOR, AND POLICY OUTCOMES IN URBAN AGENCIES
This article inquires about the sufficiency of institutional exchange theory in explaining the impacts of intergovernmental power structure on agency policy making. Based on rational behavior, transactional exchange, and game playing, this so called new institutionalism points to the degree of autonomy held by an agency in its collaboration with other government jurisdictions as a principal determinant of a patterned bias in agency policy outcomes. The author first summarizes theory arguments and derives hypotheses about agency outcomes that are skewed to favor some interests over others. He then reports results of a multiple regression analysis of a sample of forty-two transit agencies. Findings indicate that institutional exchange matters a good deal more than alternative theses, but the theory does not fully explain specific relationships.