The authors argue that previous welfare policy research has suffered from its neglect of bureaucratic factors, as well as a tendency to exclude policy-making arenas above and below the state level. Using several measures of organizational structure, administrative professionalism, and within-state need, they attempt to relate these variables to within-state variations in welfare policy implementation. While certain socio-economic conditions were found to be significant determinants of this variation, of greater importance are characteristics of state welfare bureaucracies such as the degree of administrative centralization and the level of professionalism of administrative staff. Their research suggests the need for further refinement of conceptualizations of the policy process and its components, and indicates the potential significance of bureaucratic factors in explainable policy implementation .

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