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A Behavioral Approach to the Study of Intergovernmental Relations

Vincent Ostrom and Elinor Ostrom
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 359, Intergovernmental Relations in the United States (May, 1965), pp. 137-146
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1035116
Page Count: 10
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A Behavioral Approach to the Study of Intergovernmental Relations
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Abstract

The study of intergovernmental relationships requires a systemic approach to phenomena involving the interaction of many large-scale organizations. The concept of an industry, borrowed from economics, is used to characterize a set of interrelated public enterprises which makes use of a common body of knowledge and methods in the production of similar goods or services. The disparity of interests within an industry is related to diversity in the organization of separate enterprises in a public industry. The problem of regulating the interrelationships among numerous public agencies functioning in a public industry is then considered. Study of the structure, conduct, and performance of different public industries which form a part of the American public enterprise system offers an approach to the systemic study of intergovernmental relationships.

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