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
Date Written: 2019
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.
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