ESA-announce special issue on experiments in public administration (IPMJ)
Call for Article Proposals
Special Issue of the International Public Management Journal on Experiments in Public Administration and Management Research
Guest editors: Søren Serritzlew and Jens Blom-Hansen, Department of Political Science and Government, University of Aarhus, Denmark
As guest editors we seek article proposals for a special issue of the International Public Management Journal on Experiments in Public Administration and Management Research
We believe that one of the thorniest problems in public administration and management research is to identify the causal effect of organizational reforms. The reason is that reforms are often made as a response to existing problems. This makes it difficult for empirical research to disentangle the effect of the organizational change from the reason for making the change. From a practical design perspective this question is crucial. Organizational reform and changes in performance may be correlated, but a reform will only bring about improved performance if the relationship is causal. Methodologically speaking the root of this problem is policy endogeneity. For example, reformers may introduce private competition in the school sector because they want to pressure public schools to increase performance. So the expected effect is the cause of the reform. This is not surprising. Civil servants are, after all, hired to solve specific problems – or, in a manner of speaking, to create endogeneity problems for researchers.
This is why endogeneity problems are of particular relevance in this line of research. They are likely to appear whenever we study the effects of manipulable aspects of the public sector. Studies relying on traditional observational data are therefore likely to suffer from biased estimates of the impact of organizational reforms.
While some studies discuss the endogeneity problem, it is no exaggeration that it is common to ignore it in public management and public administration research. Meta-analyses and literature surveys of the field regularly complain of a lack of methodological rigor.
The classical solution to endogeneity problems is experimental methods. They have become mainstream in economics and increasingly popular in political science. However, experimental methods are still underused in public management and public administration research.
The aim of this special issue of IPMJ is to bring together exemplary experimental studies in public management and public administration. We are seeking articles that use laboratory experiments, survey experiments, field experiments, and/or quasi experiments to investigate public administration and management questions. Research may, but need not, be US- or Europe-focused, and alternative theoretical approaches are welcome. The uniting element in the special issue is the use of experiments to investigate research questions within public management and public administration.
Submission process and due dates
Article proposals in the form of abstracts (200-300 words) should be submitted by May 1, 2013. Authors will be notified by May 31, 2013, whether their proposals have been selected for development as full-blown articles. The due date for final submissions is December 15, 2013. Articles will go through a standard blind peer review process as a requirement for publication in the special issue of the International Public Management Journal to appear in 2015.
Article proposals (abstracts) should be sent electronically with the subject line: "IPMJ Special Issue Submission" to Søren Serritzlew (soren) or Jens Blom-Hansen (jbh) to whom questions about appropriate topics can also be directed.