The Impact of Red Tape on Citizen Satisfaction: An Experimental Study
International Public Management Journal, Forthcoming
38 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015
Date Written: 2015
Red tape is one of the most often-mentioned nuisances of citizens about government. However, there is a dearth in red tape research focusing on citizens. Therefore, the primary goal of this article is to analyze the effect of red tape on citizen satisfaction. The secondary goal is to go beyond testing a linear relationship between red tape and citizen satisfaction by examining individual factors that may moderate this relationship. In order to analyze the red tape-satisfaction relationship, we have designed an experiment in which 179 subjects participated. Experiments are still relatively rare in public administration, but are increasingly seen as a rigorous and useful method for theory testing and development. We found that red tape has a strong negative effect on citizen satisfaction, and that this effect is weaker when citizens have high knowledge of political processes. We conclude with implications and a future research agenda.
Keywords: Red tape; citizen satisfaction; rules; behavioral public administration; experimental method
JEL Classification: D73, D78, J2, J28, J58, J68, M12, M00, M12, O2, O32, O3, C91, J2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation