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Policy Composition and Adoption Duration: Capturing Conflict in the Legislative Process

Journal Title Policy Studies Journal
Published Date January 17, 2022
Research Type


The way in which public policies are composed may lead to conflicts that manifest in an extended policymaking duration. This paper explores the associations between policy composition and the relative duration for policies to be adopted in 15 U.S. state legislatures. We treat policy passage duration as an indicator of policy conflicts in the legislative process. We adapt the institutional grammar tool (IGT) to examine how 168 oil and gas development policies are composed and gauge the association between the content of these policies and the speed of their adoption. We find policies that are more stringent, contain more constitutive rules, target issues related to oil and gas operations or tax and finance take relatively longer to pass. These findings offer theoretical insights into the relationships between policy composition and policy adoption duration. They also provide methodological insights on measuring policy design components using a semi-automated application of the IGT.

Catherine Chen, Tanya Heikkila, Christopher M. Weible, Hongtao Yi, Jennifer Kagan, Ramiro Berardo, Jill Yordy, and Tao Guo. 2022. Policy Composition and Adoption Duration: Capturing Conflicts in the Legislative Process. Policy Studies Journal50 (2), 407-431.