Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Committee Chair

Dr. Jeongyoon Lee

Executive Summary

In recent decades, many countries have implemented decentralization of national administrative functions to make public service delivery more effective and efficient. However, debate continues over whether decentralization is actually effective, and there has not been much research on the impact of decentralization of public administration in East Asia. This study analyzed the effectiveness of establishing a Rescue Hub Substation implemented by the Korea Coast Guard as part of its administrative decentralization policy to respond quickly to maritime accidents and reduce casualties.

The analysis method compared and analyzed the average response time of marine accidents before and after the establishment of a Rescue Hub Substation, and the number of deaths and missing persons. In addition, I examined citizens' perceptions by analyzing the tone (positive, neutral, negative) and keywords of news articles related to Rescue Hub Substation.

According to the analysis, the average response time to marine accidents has been 10% (3.8 minutes) faster, despite the continuous increase in marine accidents since the establishment of Rescue Hub Substation. The death toll from marine accidents fell by 7% (17 person), and the missing by 16% (20 person). Of the 80 articles related to the Rescue Hub Substation, 48% of them have positive tone, and more articles of positive tone over time, these results show that citizens are positive about the KCG's decentralization policy.

The implications of this study are as follows: First, this study can be seen as providing positive empirical evidence to the decentralization theory. Second, research on decentralization of public organizations have been centered around the Western world, and this research contributed to the development of research on decentralization of public organizations in East Asia. Third, in enforcement-oriented organizations such as the Korea Coast Guard, it is necessary to more actively discover areas that need decentralization to provide efficient administrative services to the public.