Administrative reorganization as a signal: Bounded rationality, agency merger, and salience of policy issues

Sounman Hong, Nara Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although administrative reorganization has been a major political instrument in many democracies, there has been limited research on its effects. Aiming to address this gap, this study examines the reorganization of Korean government ministries, specifically, the impact of reorganization in the form of a merger of ministries performing interrelated but dissimilar functions. Examining the salience of policy issues expressed in official government press releases during the 12-year period from 2001 to 2012, we found that administrative reorganization in the form of a merger has a significant impact on the relative salience of government policy agendas. Specifically, the interrupted time series estimates indicate that the salience of science and technology policy issues (in relation to education policy issues) decreased by approximately 12% to 17% following the dissolution of the Ministry of Science and Technology. We explain this finding based on the bounded rationality view of bureaucratic information processing.

LanguageEnglish
JournalGovernance
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jan 1

Fingerprint

merger
reorganization
rationality
ministry
political instrument
science
information processing
government policy
time series
democracy
Mergers
Bounded rationality
Reorganization
education
Government

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Cite this

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abstract = "Although administrative reorganization has been a major political instrument in many democracies, there has been limited research on its effects. Aiming to address this gap, this study examines the reorganization of Korean government ministries, specifically, the impact of reorganization in the form of a merger of ministries performing interrelated but dissimilar functions. Examining the salience of policy issues expressed in official government press releases during the 12-year period from 2001 to 2012, we found that administrative reorganization in the form of a merger has a significant impact on the relative salience of government policy agendas. Specifically, the interrupted time series estimates indicate that the salience of science and technology policy issues (in relation to education policy issues) decreased by approximately 12{\%} to 17{\%} following the dissolution of the Ministry of Science and Technology. We explain this finding based on the bounded rationality view of bureaucratic information processing.",
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