Journal article, Perspectives on Politics
Scholars have long understood the American states as “laboratories of democracy,” exploring how mechanisms of learning and competition lead to the diffusion of successful state policy experiments across the federal system. Drawing from policy feedback literature, this article develops a new framework for studying policy interdependence in American federalism. Broadly speaking, the organized interests that benefit from, and are strengthened by, particular policy reforms might apply newfound strength to propagate them. Empirically, this article studies rooftop solar policy, an area in which state-level decisions have been fundamental to industry growth and the emergence of installers as political actors.