Understanding the Regulatory Thicket: Interactions Among State Environmental Regulators and Regulatees

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Research exploring state-level regulatory interactions in the U.S. often employs survey methodology to ask front-line actors about their experiences. While these efforts are noteworthy, we argue that it is important to investigate these interactions utilizing a different approach. In this exploratory study, we use randomized vignettes, to which a respondent can react without fear of revealing practices or succumbing to social desirability. Our results are in concert with a growing body of literature that suggests cooperation between the regulator and regulatees is essential for future interactions in order to achieve compliance, yet each party’s perceptions may not be completely congruent

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