David Houle

University of Michigan
Ford School of Public Policy

735 South State Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan
houled@umich.edu |  Visit Personal Website

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Dr. David Houle is a postdoctoral fellow associated with the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. David completed a PhD in political science and environmental studies at the University of Toronto after obtaining a M.A. in Policy Analysis and a B.A. in Economics and Politics at Laval University (Quebec City, Canada). His primary area of research is subnational climate change policy in North America, especially carbon pricing in the provinces and states. David's secondary areas of research include the transition to a low carbon economy and renewable energy policy. His research has recently been featured in Global Environmental Politics (MIT Press) and the Journal of Public Policy (Cambridge University Press). He is currently working a book on carbon pricing in the Canadian provinces.

Houle, David, Erick Lachapelle, and Mark Purdon. "Comparative Politics of Sub-Federal Cap-and-Trade: Implementing the Western Climate Initiative."Global Environmental Politics 15, no. 03 (2015): 49-73
Abstract: Why have only two of the eleven original members of the Western Climate Initiative implemented a cap-and-trade system? This article compares the implementation of cap-and-trade in California and Quebec versus in New Mexico and British Columbia. Ideas around the reality of anthropogenic global warming and the legitimacy of cap-and-trade created favorable context in three jurisdictions, although institutions condition the expression of these ideas in the policy-making process. Since parliamentary institutions concentrate power, elite consensus is more important in Canada, while in the United States public opinion plays a more significant role. However, ideational factors shaped by political institutions do not explain differences in cap-and-trade implementation. Growth in shale gas production, welcomed in British Columbia and New Mexico but resisted by Quebec and marginal in California, further explain different outcomes. Ideas, mediated by institutions, are the necessary prerequisites for action, while material factors influence policy instrument choice.
URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/GLEP_a_00311?journalCode=glep#.V1o1NvkrKM8
DOI: 10.1162/GLEP_a_00311
Mondou, Matthieu, Grace Skogstad, and David Houle. "Policy image resilience, multidimensionality, and policy image management: a study of US biofuel policy." Journal of Public Policy 34, no. 01 (2014): 155-180.
Abstract: This paper contributes to our understanding of why delegitimising focusing events, combined with the mobilisation of policy losers, does not always result in major policy change by undermining a monopolistic policy image and policy subsystem. Based on a close enquiry of American biofuel policy development, it argues that we can make headway in this endeavour by focusing on three factors: first, the congruence of a policy image with core values of the polity; second, the multidimensionality of a policy image; and third, policy image management strategies that maintain cohesion among coalition supporters and respond to outside criticism. In understanding better why some policy images (and policy monopolies) prove resilient when they come under assault, this paper offers a single case plausibility probe supported by indicative evidence from other policy studies.
URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9179857&fileId=S0143814X13000317
DOI: 10.1017/S0143814X13000317

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

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