Correlates of co-production : evidence from a five-nation survey of citizens

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We employ data from an original survey of citizens in the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, and the Czech Republic to examine correlates of citizen co-production of public services in three key policy areas: public safety, the environment, and health. The correlates of co-production we consider include demographic factors (age, gender, education, and employment status), community characteristics (urban, non-urban), performance perceptions (how good a job government is doing), government outreach (providing information and seeking consultation), and self-efficacy (how much of a difference citizens believe they can make). We also report on results from a series of focus groups on the topic of co-production held in each country.

Our results suggest that women and elderly citizens generally engage more often in co-production and that self-efficacy—the belief that citizens can make a difference—is an especially important determinant across sectors. Interestingly, good outcome performance (in the sense of a safe neighborhood, a clean environment, and good health) seems to discourage co-production somewhat. Thus citizens' co-production appears to depend in part on awareness of a shortfall in public performance on outcomes. Our results also provide some evidence that co-production is enhanced when governments provide information or engage citizens in consultation. The specific determinants vary, however, not only by sector but across national contexts.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-112
JournalInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013