Citizen Attitudes Towards Public–Private Partnerships

Eric J. Boyer, David Van Slyke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the factors that influence public attitudes toward public–private partnerships (PPPs) through an analysis of public opinion data collected in 2014. Although previous literature has examined public attitudes toward government contracting and asset privatization, there is little understanding of how the public feels about more collaborative forms of public–private interaction. Counter to previous studies that suggest that support for free enterprise and a disdain for government increases support for private involvement in public services, we find that attitudes toward PPPs are nuanced: Respondents favor them not only when they have positive feelings toward the business sector but also when they also report trust in government. PPPs are thus perceived not as a replacement to public administration, but as a delivery model that demands competence and trust of both public and private partners. The results also explain a previously unstudied relationship between respondent familiarity with PPPs and their attitudes toward them. Counter to expectations, we find that the more familiarity that respondents have with PPPs, the more likely they are to view them favorably. We also identify factors that predict public opinions of PPPs which can inform public outreach and public involvement programs involved with PPPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 1 2018

Keywords

  • public opinion
  • public–private partnerships
  • state and local government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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