Sung Chul Kim

Date of Graduation


Document Type



This dissertation is divided into two main parts. The first part presents an intergovernmental model of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, focusing on program benefits and eligibility criteria. The second part explores the impact of state political institutions--the governor, the state legislature, and the state bureaucracy--on AFDC policy outcomes. There has been a great deal of research on the structure and operations of intergovernmental programs in the United States (Beam et. al. 1983; Dilger 1989). There have been relatively few research efforts, however, that attempt to differentiate the relative impact that federal, state, and local government officials have on these programs (Goggin et. al. 1990; Wood 1992). This model treats the federal, state, and local levels of government as one complete system. This framework is analyzed for both the 1973-1976 and 1987-1990 time periods in an aggregate sense, and controls for both politically divided and unified state governments. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (LISREL) is used to uncover the structural heterogeneity associated with AFDC policy outcomes for both time periods and the divided/unified government dichotomy. The LISREL findings suggest that the relative importance of federal, state, and local LISREL findings suggest that the relative importance of federal, state, and local government policymakers in the federal system vary across both time and different electoral configurations displayed by state governments. The dissertation's second part assumes that governors are the key policy actors influencing AFDC policy outcomes. Although the impact of state legislative professionalism and interparty competition on state welfare policies has received some attention in the past (Rosenthal 1989; Karnig and Sigelman 1975; Grumm 1971; Roeder 1979; Garand and Hendrick 1991; Blais et al. 1993; Dawson and Robinson 1963; Marquette and Hinckley 1981), there has been relatively little research conducted on the influence that the state's three major state institutions--the governor, state legislature, and state welfare agency--have on AFDC policy outcomes. The same logical model used in the dissertation's first part is employed in the second for states with both Democratic and Republican governors. The model hypothesizes that gubernatorial influence is the main factor affecting state AFDC policy decisions, constrained by interparty competition, legislative professionalism, and bureaucratic capacity. The LISREL results suggest that (1) the literature has understated the governor's role in determining the outcome of state AFDC policy decisions, (2) the governor plays an important mediating role in determining the outcome of state AFDC policy outcomes, and (3) Democratic governors have a significant, direct impact on AFDC policy decisions while Republican governors do not.