The Psychological Costs of Citizen Coproduction
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Volume 30, Issue 4, October 2020
42 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 2020
Research on administrative burden emphasizes the experiences of burdens among vulnerable recipients of welfare services. However, little is known about the extent to which burdens arise in other – much less clientilistic – aspects of citizen-state interactions. We argue that administrative burdens may also arise among citizens in response to participation in public service production stimulated or directly imposed by public organizations. We test our propositions in two randomized vignette experiments in which we manipulate first whether citizens are encouraged to participate in production of public services yielding private or collective benefits and second citizen self-efficacy using a representative sample of Danish citizens. We find that when citizens are encouraged to participate in producing public services resulting in private benefits for relatives or friends in contrast to collective benefits for a larger group of people they are more likely to experience psychological costs such as stigma and stress and less likely to experience autonomy. Furthermore, the psychological costs are felt to a greater extent among citizens with low than high self-efficacy.
Keywords: Administrative burden, self-efficacy, public service production
JEL Classification: I38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation