What influences the willingness of citizens to coproduce public services? Results from a vignette experiment

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Fabian Hattke http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3673-2855
Janne Kalucza


Coproduction, Citizen-state interaction, Environmental behavior, Low-cost situation, Motivation


A growing body of literature has investigated the involvement of private and third-sector organizations in the provision and maintenance of public goods. Still, there is little empirical knowledge about the reasons for individual citizens to coproduce public services. Research discusses several motivational and situational factors as important antecedents. We elaborate on this framework and test the effect of the relationships proposed by the literature in a survey experiment by modelling a realistic coproduction situation in the context of city waste management. Our results show that general motivations are not a predictor of the individual willingness to coproduce, while context-specific self-efficacy, intrinsic, and prosocial motivation are. Furthermore, access to coproduction resources and expected personal benefits positively influence the willingness to coproduce, while performance delay has a negative effect. A post-hoc analysis identifies two distinct types of coproducers: a decisive type, whose willingness is most strongly influenced by intrinsic motivation; and a flexible type whose coproduction intention only depends on situational factors. These detailed insights yield valuable implications for public administrations that want to engage citizens in the provision of public goods.