A theory and empirical examination of bureaucratic errors
Bullock, Justin Bennett
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For my dissertation, I have chosen to create and explore a theory of bureaucratic error. My theory of bureaucratic error seeks to determine the factors, at multiple levels that contribute to the occurrence of errors within government programs. The theory explores how factors at the program design, locus of implementation, office management, and bureaucratic decision-making levels interact within and across government programs to contribute to different types of government errors. This theory is tested empirically using federal program-level data, to examine across program variation in payment errors, and audit-level data, to examine variations in payment errors within the US Unemployment Insurance program. These studies find evidence suggesting that that the four levels identified in the theory of bureaucratic error contribute to the error generating process of payment errors within government programs.