Thursday, October 13, 2016

An APPAM/MDRC Institutional Member Forum: The Future of Applying Behavioral Science to Social Policy

MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) and APPAM are hosting a forum on December 13, 2016 which will explore the future of behavioral science research, practice, and policy. This event brings together distinguished experts from MDRC, academia, and the government to share their work and provide insight on next steps for research, practice, and policy.


APPAM and ICPA-Forum Award 2015 Best Comparative Paper

October 23, 2015 03:51 PM

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), in conjunction with the International Comparative Policy Analysis (ICPA) Forum, are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Award for Best Comparative Paper. Laura Langbein and Pablo Sanabria were selected for their paper Independent Professional Bureaucracies and Street-Level Corruption: Evidence from Latin America, originally presented at APPAM’s 2014 Fall Research Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. APPAM and the ICPA-Forum seek to reward and encourage excellence in comparative policy analysis as represented in research papers delivered at the conference.

“In this paper, authors Langbein and Sanabria apply a systemic qualitative methodology to a cross-national comparison of governance and corruption in nine Latin American countries. The paper tests the hypothesis that improved governance leads to reduced corruption and instead examines the relationship between lagged changes in civil service quality and subsequent corrupt practices.

The panel agreed that this paper tackled a difficult issue with considerable measurement challenges, but was able to show how comparing “within” differences across a smaller subset of similar countries allows for a richer analysis and improves upon larger cross-sectional design analyses.  It thus offers an excellent contribution to comparative research methods, to policy-related issues in governance, and to the study of Latin American politics.”


Laura Langbein is a Professor at American University. Langbein teaches quantitative methods, program evaluation, policy analysis, and public choice. Her research fields include: theories of bureaucratic discretion, productivity, principal-agent models, social capital, and cooperation in the workplace; theories of influence of interest groups in Congress and the bureaucracy; empirical applications in various policy areas, including the environment, education, defense, housing, criminal justice (death penalty and police), and corruption. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals on politics, economics, policy analysis and public administration.

Her most recent publications examine the consequences of varying levels of discretion in federal agencies, and the World Bank’s measurement of corruption in countries.


Pablo Sanabria is an Associate Professor and Department Chair at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, Colombia. His specialties include: public management and human capital management in the public sector, organizational behavior, studies on corruption and public sector innovation, policy analysis and policy making, public affairs in the pharmaceutical industry, intellectual property, health and trade related issues.

The award will be presented to the authors on Friday, November 13 during the Membership & Awards Luncheon at the 2015 Fall Research Conference in Miami, Florida.


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