Sector Bias and the Credibility of Performance Information: An Experimental Study of Elder Care Provision

55 Pages Posted: 29 May 2020

See all articles by Kenneth J. Meier

Kenneth J. Meier

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

Miyeon Song

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark

Jourdan Davis

American University

Anna Amirkhanyan

American University - School of Public Affairs

Date Written: May 29, 2020

Abstract

Reporting government performance to the public is generally understood as a tool for improving accountability and transparency. However, evidence has shown that citizens’ anti public sector bias may discount good performance of public organizations. Using an experimental study of nursing homes in the US, this study fills four gaps in the literature: 1) the need to include nonprofit organizations rather than just public and private organizations, 2) consideration of the credibility of the source of performance information, 3) the use of existing less ambiguous performance metrics, and 4) the willingness to use organizational services as a performance dimension. Our results show that the public has a general but modest anti-for-profit sector bias in nursing home care (nonprofits are perceived the most positively). Sector biases generally disappear when commonly used government performance data are presented. Also, the credibility of the source matters, and respondents’ willingness to use organizational services is more sensitive to both sector bias and performance information than other performance measures such as effectiveness, efficiency, red tape or equity. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of this study for democratic accountability.

Suggested Citation

Meier, Kenneth J. and Song, Miyeon and Davis, Jourdan and Amirkhanyan, Anna, Sector Bias and the Credibility of Performance Information: An Experimental Study of Elder Care Provision (May 29, 2020). American University School of Public Affairs Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3613997 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3613997

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

Miyeon Song

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers University, Newark ( email )

180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Jourdan Davis

American University ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Anna Amirkhanyan (Contact Author)

American University - School of Public Affairs ( email )

Washington, DC 20016
United States

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