Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy and Leadership

First Committee Member

Christopher Stream

Second Committee Member

Patricia Cook-Craig

Third Committee Member

Vanessa Fenley

Fourth Committee Member

John Baur

Number of Pages



This study establishes and explores the concept of diffusion return. This study utilizes a qualitative case study of the city of New Orleans and their regulation of short-term rentals to establish and explore diffusion return. A network map is constructed of cities that diffused short-term rental regulation information with New Orleans. Information movements are sketched with the network map, and the resulting patterns illustrate how diffused information travels both inward and outward across jurisdictions. Additionally, thematic analysis is applied to qualitatively analyze data gathered from five interviews with New Orleans city staff, three short-term rental reports. and public meeting minutes from the New Orleans City Planning Commission and New Orleans City Council staff and citizens.This study aims to understand the extent to which policy diffusion shapes policy after initial adoption. A large body of research has explored policy diffusion; however, there is only a limited understanding of how policy diffusion “plays out” after a policy is adopted. To this end, how policy modifications occur during policy implementation and evaluation through a process of diffusion return is examined. This study offers models of potential patterns of diffusion return and then confirms their existence with a network map created with cities that adopted and modified short-term rental regulations. These patterns are important because there may be unintended consequences associated with them that may degrade information quality and resulting policy. Themes are explored with both established diffusion mechanisms and new mechanisms offered in the study. This study builds upon the research literature for government innovation, policy diffusion, local government, and disruptive innovations. The study closes with policy implications, theory implications, and recommendations for further exploration.


Disruptive Innovation; Government Innovation; Local Government; Policy Diffusion; Policy Process; Technology Regulation


Public Administration | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Public Policy

File Format


File Size

4000 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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