Rethinking policy diffusion: The interstate spread of “finance innovations”
Recently a number of studies have focused on states' adoptions of postsecondary-specific policies. Cutting across much of this research is the presence and influence of interstate diffusion of policy adoptions, a phenomenon for which support is scant. This paper seeks to address this through broadening the categorization of policies beyond the discrete form traditionally used to one that encompasses a larger conception of "finance policy." Our sample uses 131 finance innovations for 47 states over a 29 year period, finding that upon broadening our definition, we can detect the process of diffusion. However, the findings are striking, showing that while states do learn from one another, the process is dynamic and shifts across time.