The Impact of Red Tape on Citizen Satisfaction: An Experimental Study

International Public Management Journal, Forthcoming

38 Pages Posted: 11 May 2015

See all articles by Lars Tummers

Lars Tummers

Utrecht University

Ulrike Weske

Utrecht University

Robin Bouwman

Radboud University Nijmegen

Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen

Utrecht University

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

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

Tummers, Lars and Weske, Ulrike and Bouwman, Robin and Grimmelikhuijsen, Stephan, The Impact of Red Tape on Citizen Satisfaction: An Experimental Study (2015). International Public Management Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2604652

Lars Tummers (Contact Author)

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Ulrike Weske

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Robin Bouwman

Radboud University Nijmegen ( email )

Postbus 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

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