Jiaqi Liang

University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Public Administration

400 S. Peoria Street, AEH 2100 (MC 278)
Chicago, IL
liangj@uic.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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My research areas encompass public management, bureaucratic politics, public policy process and analysis, program evaluation, social equity, environmental and energy issues, and comparative public administration and policy.

Liang, Jiaqi. 2017. “Regulatory Effectiveness and Social Equity in Environmental Governance: Assessing Goal Conflict, Trade-Off, and Synergy.” The American Review of Public Administration. DOI: 10.1177/0275074017727365
Abstract: Public organizations function in an environment of goal multiplicity and constantly juggle goal trade-off and synergy. However, little empirical research explores how the potential conflict between effectiveness and equity affects government agencies’ decision making. This study examines the extent to which public agencies are committed to regulatory effectiveness and social equity in environmental policy management, and the circumstances under which administrative agencies engage in goal trade-off and synergy. Analyzing data on the Clean Air Act in New York State, this study finds that although regulatory effectiveness is salient to government’s policy implementation, equity-oriented policy is likely to give rise to trade-off in this goal domain. The state agency manages environmental programs in an equitable way, and policy intervention has inconsistent effects on the equity goal achievement. The agency does, in some instances, synergize two goals in loci reflecting the convergence of task demands, but equity-oriented policy does not reinforce such behavioral pattern. Findings beg the question regarding how public policies and programs can be devised in ways that help avert goal trade-off and engender the maximum level of social outcomes.
URL: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0275074017727365
DOI: 10.1177/0275074017727365
Liang, Jiaqi. 2015. "The Shadow of the Politics of Deservedness? The Implications of Group-Centric Policy Context for Environmental Policy Implementation Inequalities in the United States." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.
Abstract: Despite considerable evidence indicating that racial minorities are more likely to reside in communities surrounding the sources of environmental risks or live with higher levels of pollutant emissions, relatively little research focuses on how broader political and institutional contexts pertaining to people of color impacts routine environmental policy implementation at the state level in the post-facility-siting period. Drawing on theories of group-centric, degenerative policy, and the politics of group recognition, this study explores the effects of the minority group-specific policy context on administrative outputs for the vulnerable African American communities. Examining the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program of the Clean Water Act from 1996 to 2010, findings from a multilevel modeling analysis show that generosity of welfare benefits is positively related to state agencies’ regulatory inspection and enforcement activities for predominantly black counties, while stringent welfare eligibility and sanctions are negatively associated with those efforts from government for those counties. Implications are then derived for the essential role of public administration in shaping the entitlements of the marginalized members of society to public services in an era within which social equity has emerged on government’s policy agenda.
URL: http:// http://jpart.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/25/jopart.muv027.short?rss=1
DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muv027
Liang, Jiaqi, and Laura Langbein. 2015. "Performance Management, High-Powered Incentives, and Environmental Policies in China." International Public Management Journal 18 (3):346-385.
Abstract: China has a highly centralized bureaucracy that is no longer strictly monitored by political loyalty but by governance performance (e.g., economic growth), rewarded with promotion and monetary incentives. In the early 2000s, environmental criteria were added to this system. As part of this effort, a high-powered performance management system was introduced in 2006. It held high-level provincial officials, who are part of the nomenklatura, personally responsible for meeting specific emissions targets. Using data from China Statistics Yearbooks and several official news archives, the empirical results indicate that the implementation of the new performance management system reduced emissions only for air pollutants, which are the most publicly visible among the targeted pollutants. Water pollution, which is less visible but also a mandated target, was unaffected. Emissions of soot, an untargeted pollutant, were also unaffected. The findings imply that, even in centrally managed systems like China, compliance with a high-stakes reward for measured performance is not universal.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10967494.2015.1043167
DOI: 10.1080/10967494.2015.1043167
Liang, Jiaqi. 2015. "Who Maximizes (or Satisfies) in Performance Management? An Empirical Study of the Effects of Motivation-Related Institutional Contexts on Energy Efficiency Policy in China." Public Performance & Management Review 38 (2):284-315.
Abstract: Research on public employee motivations in performance management has given little attention to the moderating role of motivation-related organizational and institutional contexts. Against the backdrop of China's energy intensity reduction policy, this study explores how institutional contexts pertaining to career motivation affect subnational bureaucrats' performance of central government policy goals. Empirical analysis, drawing on data for twenty-nine province-level governments from 2006 to 2010, confirms that institutional contexts related to career motivation influence policy implementation. Specifically, provinces with higher levels of bureaucratic integration with the central government had higher probability of achieving reduction targets and attaining a rating of excessive fulfillment in the national report card.
URL: http:// http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15309576.2015.983834
DOI: 10.1080/15309576.2015.983834
Liang, Jiaqi, and Daniel J. Fiorino. 2013. "The Implications of Policy Stability for Renewable Energy Innovation in the United States, 1974–2009." Policy Studies Journal 41 (1):97–118.
Abstract: Government support and commitment are of particular importance for renewable energy technology innovation activities, which are highly contingent on policy and market uncertainty. The research focus of this article is to examine the relationship between policy stability in public resource allocation and policy outcomes in renewable energy technologies. With time-series cross-sectional analyses, we test effects of both the stability and magnitude of federal R&D expenditures on patent applications in five renewable energy sectors (i.e., solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and bioenergy) from 1974 to 2009. The findings show that technology innovation is affected by both the magnitude and stability of government financial commitment. Nevertheless, when industries perceive government support over longer time frames, the magnitude effect loses explanatory power to the stability effect. In addition to federal R&D expenditures, policies pertaining to technology commercialization and marketization are a critical determinant of innovation activities. This study demonstrates that incremental, predictable, and credible expenditures facilitate renewable energy technology development. Conversely, a boom-bust cycle of resource support fails to translate policy goals into intended results.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/psj.12004/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/psj.12004

Substantive Focus:
Energy and Natural Resource Policy
Environmental Policy PRIMARY
Governance SECONDARY
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation