State-federal diffusion and policy learning: From enterprise zones to empowerment zones

Karen Mossberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


There is little empirical evidence on whether the federal government teams from policy experimentation in the states, the "laboratories of democracy." Interviews with participants involved in formulating the federal Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities program offer evidence of limited policy learning from state enterprise zones. Respondents were aware of general trends and drew a few general conclusions, rather than borrowing from any particular state. None of the federal policymakers conducted an active search for information about the state zones, but state and federal organizations served as channels of information about the state programs. This finding suggests that such organizations assist state-federal diffusion as well as interstate diffusion of policy ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-50
Number of pages20
JournalPublius: The Journal of Federalism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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