Luke Fowler, faculty director and associate professor in the School of Public Service, and Ph.D. student Dalten Fox recently co-authored an article on geographic bias in public administration research. The article, “Is Florida Really that Interesting? State Geographic Bias in Public Administration Research,” appeared the State and Local Government Review.
Examining 557 research articles from top public administration journals in which specific state names appear in the title or abstract, Fowler and Fox find that not only is public administration research concentrated in four states (Florida, California, New York, and Texas), but that specific topics and policy areas are associated with each of those states.
Fowler and Fox’s research suggests that authors need to consider if this creates a blind spot for research bias in the field, as collective understanding of a specific topic is disproportionately influenced by data from a single state.