Correlates of Co-production: Evidence From a Five-Nation Survey of Citizens

Parrado, Salvador; Van Ryzin, Gregg G.; Bovaird, Tony and Löffler, Elke (2013). Correlates of Co-production: Evidence From a Five-Nation Survey of Citizens. International Public Management Journal, 16(1) pp. 85–112.



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.

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