Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
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Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy

The Ground Floor of Government in Context

Edited by Peter Hupe

When the objectives of public policy programmes have been formulated and decided upon, implementation seems just a matter of following instructions. However, it is underway to the realization of those objectives that public policies get their final substance and form. Crucial is what happens in and around the encounter between public officials and individual citizens at the street level of government bureaucracy. This Research Handbook addresses the state of the art while providing a systematic exploration of the theoretical and methodological issues apparent in the study of street-level bureaucracy and how to deal with them.
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Chapter 20: Quantitative street-level bureaucracy research

Nadine van Engen

Abstract

This chapter discusses and illustrates how a quantitative research approach may be useful for (future) street-level bureaucracy researchers. The author not only discusses what a quantitative approach entails but also highlights its main advantages and showcases inspiring examples. In addition, several drawbacks of quantitative research are presented. These include the incorrect use and the ‘missing use’ of quantitative methods, as well as challenges for reporting and replicating. The author underscores the importance of combining qualitative and quantitative approaches: only together will we advance the field of street-level bureaucracy further and provide useful answers to academic puzzles and real-life problems.

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