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Shaping the Coast with Permits: Making the State Regulatory Permitting Process Transparent with Text Mining

Bill Lane Center Working Paper
February 2016
February 11, 2016

How do agencies use the permitting process to shape policy outcomes? This article unveils the black-box by using various text mining techniques to retrieve valuable empirical data from unstructured texts, namely public meeting agendas and staff reports of the California Coastal Commission. The data reveal that outright rejection of permit applications is rare.