Administrative Burden

Administrative Burden

Policymaking by Other Means

Pamela Herd, Donald P. Moynihan

Individuals have a basic need for autonomy over themselves and their actions. 33 Processes under which the state imposes burdens act as a source of external direction over individual autonomy. The more forceful that direction and the more at odds with the individual’s intrinsic preferences, the greater the sense of loss of autonomy, which in turn will lower willingness to participate in and satisfaction with the process. Social psychology also points to the importance of procedural justice. 34 Individuals care as much or more about the process of their interactions with the state as they do about the outcome. Procedures perceived as consistent, fair, and equitable are fundamentally important to citizens. Administrative procedures perceived as arbitrary, unfair, and discriminatory leave us unhappy with our interactions with government.

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