Citizen Perceptions of Government Service Quality: Evidence from Public Schools
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CitationChingos, Matthew M., Michael Henderson and Martin R. West. 2012. Citizen Perceptions of Government Service Quality: Evidence from Public Schools. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 7, no 4: 411-445. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00011071
AbstractConventional models of democratic accountability hinge on citizens’ ability to evaluate government performance accurately, yet there is little evidence on the degree to which citizen perceptions of the quality of government services correspond to actual service quality. Using nationally representative survey data, we find that citizens’ perceptions of the quality of specific public schools reflect publicly available information about the level of student achievement in those schools. The relationship between actual and perceived school quality is two to three times stronger for parents of school-age children, who have the most contact with schools and arguably the strongest incentive to be informed. However, this relationship does not differ by homeowner
status or by respondents’ race, ethnicity, income, or education. A regression discontinuity analysis of an oversample of Florida residents confirms that public accountability systems can have a causal effect on citizen perceptions of service quality.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4460856
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