Devolution and pressures from elected officials and citizens to reduce government involvement in service provision have increasingly led many public agencies to contract with nonprofits for service delivery. In this article we consider the effects of the changing institutional arrangements governing the delivery of publicly funded social services on citizens' satisfaction and ability to hold service providers accountable. Specifically, we consider whether citizens are able to accurately identify service providers as nonprofit or governmental providers and investigate what drives individual perceived and actual use of nonprofits for social services; what the relationship is between perceived and actual use and a citizen's satisfaction with social services; and whether satisfaction with services influences the likelihood that chizens will correctly identify a provider as a nonprofit or governmental agency. Using public opinion data, we examine these questions empirically. Our results suggest that citizens are more likely to misidentify nonprofit service providers as governmental agencies when they are less satisfied with the services that they have received. The public management implications of contracting with nonprofit organizations and citizen satisfaction and accountability are discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|State||Published - Apr 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration