The role of policy attributes in the diffusion of innovations Article

Makse, T, Volden, C. (2011). The role of policy attributes in the diffusion of innovations . JOURNAL OF POLITICS, 73(1), 108-124. 10.1017/S0022381610000903

cited authors

  • Makse, T; Volden, C



  • Studies of policy diffusion have given insufficient attention to the role that characteristics of the policies themselves play in determining the speed of policy diffusion and the mechanisms through which diffusion occurs. We adopt Everett Rogers' (1983, 2004) attribute typology from the diffusion of innovations literature and apply it to a sample of 27 policy innovations from the sphere of criminal justice policy in the U.S. states between 1973 and 2002. We find that policy attributes, ranging from the relative advantage of the policy over its predecessors to its complexity to its compatibility with past practices, affect the likelihood of adoption. Furthermore, policy attributes shape the extent to which spatial adoption patterns and learning mechanisms are relevant to the policy's diffusion. © 2011 Southern Political Science Association.

publication date

  • January 1, 2011

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 108

end page

  • 124


  • 73


  • 1