How (Not) to Solve the Problem: An Evaluation of Scholarly Responses to Common Source Bias Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2014 The Author 2014. Public administration scholars are beginning to pay more attention to the problem of common source bias, but little is known about the approaches that applied researchers are adopting as they attempt to confront the issue in their own research. In this essay, we consider the various responses taken by the authors of six articles in this journal. We draw attention to important nuances of the common measurement issue that have previously received little attention and run a set of empirical analyses in order to test the effectiveness of several proposed solutions to the common-source-bias problem. Our results indicate that none of the statistical remedies being used by public administration scholars appear to be reliable methods of countering the problem. Currently, it appears as though the only reliable solution is to find independent sources of data when perceptual survey measures are employed.

altmetric score

  • 9.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Favero, N., & Bullock, J. B.

citation count

  • 180

publication date

  • January 2015