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

See all articles by Mette Kjærgaard Thomsen

Mette Kjærgaard Thomsen

University of Southern Denmark

Martin Bækgaard

Aarhus University

Ulrich Thy Jensen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

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

Thomsen, Mette Kjærgaard and Bækgaard, Martin and Jensen, Ulrich Thy, The Psychological Costs of Citizen Coproduction (October 2020). Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Volume 30, Issue 4, October 2020 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3702979

Mette Kjærgaard Thomsen

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

Martin Bækgaard (Contact Author)

Aarhus University ( email )

Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C
Denmark

Ulrich Thy Jensen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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