Toward a Cost-Effectiveness Assessment of State Ethics Commissions

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark Bradbury Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of MPA Program (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: This article provides an exploratory analysis of the outputs of state government ethics enforcement. Despite the burgeoning interest in the ethical dimensions of public administration among researchers and practitioners alike, there have been few systematic examinations of the actions and outputs of state ethics commissions and boards. Such data are critical to assessing the cost-effectiveness of the subnational ethics edifice. A review of the characteristics of state ethics commissions reveals substantial variation, suggesting that cost-effectiveness is best analyzed state by state. This research relies on data from the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission to examine the outputs of ethics enforcement. The examination of formal orders reveals that all types of officials (elected, appointed, and career) run afoul of ethics laws in myriad ways, with varied levels of severity and consequence. This unique analysis of the outputs of state ethics enforcement is an essential component to understanding the nature, and effectiveness, of ethics in practice.

Additional Information

Bradbury, M. D. (2007) Toward a Cost-Effectiveness Assessment of State Ethics Commissions. Public Integrity, 9(4): 333-347. (Fall 2007) Published for the American Society for Public Administration by M.E. Sharp. (ISSN: 1099-9922) DOI: 10.2753/PIN1099-9922090402
Language: English
Date: 2007

Email this document to