Perceptual Bias and Public Programs: The Case of the United States and Hospital Care

Public Administration Review. 79(6): 820-828 (2019)

35 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2019 Last revised: 11 Jan 2020

See all articles by Kenneth J. Meier

Kenneth J. Meier

American University; Cardiff University; Leiden University - Institute of Public Administration

Austin Johnson

Texas A&M University (TAMU), Students

Seung-Ho An

University of Arizona - School of Government and Public Policy

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

This study examines whether the public holds biased perceptions of public organizations (hospitals) in the United States and whether organizations get credit for positive results from program evaluations. Using an experimental design that replicates Hvidman and Andersen’s (2016) Danish study, we find no negative public sector biases in the US, but organizations are not given any credit for positive program evaluations. These results hold in two experimental replications. We discuss the implications of our findings for the measurement of public perceptions of government programs and for effective democratic governance.

Suggested Citation

Meier, Kenneth J. and Johnson, Austin and An, Seung-Ho, Perceptual Bias and Public Programs: The Case of the United States and Hospital Care (2019). Public Administration Review. 79(6): 820-828 (2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3373327

Kenneth J. Meier

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Cardiff University ( email )

Aberconway Building
Colum Drive
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3EU
United Kingdom

Leiden University - Institute of Public Administration ( email )

P.O. Box 13228
Den Haag, 2501 EE
Netherlands

Austin Johnson

Texas A&M University (TAMU), Students ( email )

798 Ross St.
College Station, TX 77843-3137
United States

Seung-Ho An (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - School of Government and Public Policy

315 Social Science Building
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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