Discretion, Staff Norms, and Outcomes
As discussed in Chapter 3, the rules imposed by the Boston Housing Authority did not place effective limits on decision making and therefore the staff had considerable freedom to choose among possible courses of action in aiding individual applicants. This chapter describes the discretion available to staff members, develops a bureaucrat typology to predict how various staff members are likely to use discretion, and examines the outcomes of discretionary decision making for several broad categories of applicants. Because the typology could not be tested directly against the outcomes, the analysis does not empirically verify the causal links between different sorts of bureaucrats and the results of their decisions for applicants. Nevertheless, the separate pieces take us a long way in understanding how discretion is used and provide a good picture of the outcomes.
KeywordsStaff Member Public Housing Federal Regulation Considerable Discretion Private Rental Market
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