Treating citizens like customers is a common prescription for public managers, but citizens differ from customers —citizens engage in equitable social exchange that balances individual preferences and assessments with willingness-to-pay for public amenities. This article examines whether citizen satisfaction with the quality and quantity of public amenities drives a citizen’s willingness-to-pay for more public provision. Analysing data from a Texas municipality’s satisfaction survey, the authors found that a decrease in satisfaction with the quantity of public amenities is associated with an increase in willingness-to-pay, but quality assessments show no relationship. Such behaviour highlights differences between customers and public sector consumers, but also suggests that a rational public is willing to contribute to the resolution of public supply problems.
- willingness to pay,
- citizen satisfaction,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brian_collins/1/