https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/issue/feed Journal of Behavioral Public Administration 2019-05-21T21:12:47+00:00 Sebastian Jilke editor@journal-bpa.org Open Journal Systems <p><em>Journal of Behavioral Public Administration (JBPA)</em> is a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary open access journal that focuses on behavioral and experimental research in public administration, broadly defined.&nbsp; JBPA encourages submissions of both basic scholarly and applied work conducted by academics or practitioners.</p> https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/79 Editorial 2019-05-21T21:12:45+00:00 Sebastian Jilke sebastian.jilke@rutgers.edu Kenneth Meier kmeier@american.edu Gregg Van Ryzin vanryzin@rutgers.edu 2019-02-25T22:38:21+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/34 Do freedom of information laws increase transparency of government? A replication of a field experiment 2019-05-21T21:12:46+00:00 Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen s.g.grimmelikhuijsen@uu.nl Peter John peter.john@kcl.ac.uk Albert Meijer a.j.meijer@uu.nl Ben Worthy b.worthy@bbk.ac.uk <p>Transparency and responsiveness are core values of democratic governments, yet do Freedom of Information Laws - one of the legal basis for such values - actually help to increase these values? This paper reports a replication of a field experiment testing for the responsiveness of public authorities by Worthy et al (2016) in the United Kingdom. We sent 390 information requests to Dutch local government bodies, half of which were framed as official FOIA requests, the other half as informal requests for information. We were able to reproduce the original findings, that is, we found a positive effect of FOIA requests on responsiveness. The overall response rate of local governments was much higher (76%) and the size of the effect was larger than in the original experiment. Furthermore, the strongest effect of FOI was found on proactive disclosure (concordance), something that governments - strictly speaking - are not obliged to do according to the Dutch FOIA. Implications for future replication studies are discussed.</p> 2019-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/29 Experimental tests for gender effects in a principal-agent game 2019-05-21T21:12:47+00:00 Andrew B Whitford aw@uga.edu Holona L Ochs hlo209@lehigh.edu <p>Traditional arguments against women as leaders suggest that women would not be extended the trust necessary for leadership and/or that women undermine their own bargaining position by extending too much trust to others. We examine data from a laboratory test in which pairs of subjects are given the task of negotiating a wage-labor agreement.&nbsp; We first derive the optimal contract offer for principals and response by agents. We find that men and women do not reach different bargaining outcomes. We also find that women in authority are perceived as more trustworthy than men with authority, and women are no more or less trusting than men of their superiors or subordinates. The perceived trust is not rooted in differential wage terms but is based on the negotiation setting. Thus, women are likely to be extended the trust necessary to lead and are not likely to produce outcomes that are significantly different from men.</p> 2019-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/47 Trust in institutions: Narrowing the ideological gap over the federal budget 2019-05-21T21:12:45+00:00 Kim-Lee Tuxhorn kimlee.tuxhorn@ucalgary.ca John W. D'Attoma j.w.dattoma@exeter.ac.uk Sven Steinmo steinmo@colorado.edu <p>Do liberals and conservatives who trust the government have more similar preferences regarding the federal budget than liberals and conservatives who do not? Prior research has shown that the ideological gap over spending increases and tax cuts narrows at high levels of trust in government. We extend this literature by examining whether the dampening effect of trust operates when more difficult budgetary decisions (spending cuts and tax increases) have to be made. Although related, a tax increase demands greater material and ideological sacrifice from individuals than tax cuts. The same logic can be applied to support for spending cuts. We test the trust-as-heuristic hypothesis using measures of revealed budgetary preferences from a population-based survey containing an embedded budget simulation. Our findings show that trusting liberals and conservatives share similar preferences toward spending cuts and tax increases, adding an important empirical addendum to a theory based on sacrificial costs.</p> 2019-02-04T23:42:26+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/60 What influences the willingness of citizens to coproduce public services? Results from a vignette experiment 2019-05-21T21:12:45+00:00 Fabian Hattke fabian.hattke@uni-hamburg.de Janne Kalucza janne.kalucza@uni-hamburg.de <p>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.</p> 2019-03-05T21:10:22+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/35 Are public managers more risk averse? Framing effects and status quo bias across the sectors 2019-05-21T21:12:44+00:00 Sean Nicholson-Crotty seanicho@indiana.edu Jill Nicholson-Crotty jillnich@indiana.edu Sean Webeck spwebeck@indiana.edu <p>Modern reforms meant to incentivize public managers to be more innovative and accepting of risk are often implicitly based in the longstanding assumption that public employees are more risk averse than their private sector counterparts. We argue, however, that there is more to learn about the degree to which public and private managers differ in terms of risk aversion.&nbsp; In order to address this gap, we field a series of previously validated experiments designed to assess framing effects and status quo bias in a sample of public and private sector managers. Our results indicate that public managers are not more risk averse or anchored to the status quo than their private sector counterparts; in fact, the findings suggest the opposite may be true under some conditions.&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition, our results fail to confirm previous findings in the literature suggesting that public service motivation is associated with risk aversion. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of these results for the study of risky choice in the public sector and for modern public management reforms.</p> 2019-04-01T21:06:41+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/48 If the shoe fits: Gender role congruity and evaluations of public managers 2019-05-21T21:12:44+00:00 Kendall Funk kdfunk@asu.edu <p>Traditional stereotypes about both gender and managers make women appear to be incongruent with management positions; a potential consequence of which is less favorable evaluations of women managers. Using an original survey experiment, this study tests whether and how gender role incongruity, combined with the gender-typing of organizations and gender of the evaluator, affect evaluations of hypothetical public managers. Results suggest that men and women public managers are evaluated equally favorably overall; however, men evaluators perceive women managers less favorably than do women evaluators. This is largely driven by the gender-typing of organizations. While men evaluators rate women managers in feminine organizations as favorably as do women evaluators, they rate women managers in masculine organizations less favorably compared to women evaluators. Indeed, men evaluators rate women managers in masculine organizations lower compared to all other groups of comparison, including all other possible combinations of evaluator, manager, and organization gender. Findings indicate that though perceived incongruity between women and management positions may have diminished over time, there is evidence that gender biases still remain problematic for women managers’ careers, especially in masculine gender-typed organizations.</p> 2019-04-03T17:46:14+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/24 I've booked you a place, good luck: Applying behavioral science to improve attendance at high-impact job recruitment events 2019-05-21T21:12:43+00:00 Michael Sanders michael.t.sanders@kcl.ac.uk Elspeth Kirkman elspeth.kirkman@bi.team <p>Finding a job, especially in a recovering or uncertain economy, is challenging. Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) welfare benefit claimants in the United Kingdom have many competing options available to them in terms of how they direct their efforts in looking for work. Jobcentres, the organizations that support job seekers, have very strong links to the labor market and often run recruitment events in direct partnership with large employers seeking to hire in bulk. Attendance at these events, or any other <em>specific </em>job search activity, is typically low. This article reports the results of a randomized control trial designed to test the effectiveness of mobile phone text messaging in compelling jobseekers to attend such events. Tailored text messages are found to significantly increase the likelihood of attendance.&nbsp;We find text messages to be particularly effective when they seek to induce reciprocity and address low morale in the recipient.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2019-04-10T13:57:29+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/27 Speaking truth in power: Scientific evidence as motivation for policy activism 2019-05-21T21:12:43+00:00 Carisa Bergner bergnerc@gmail.com Bruce A. Desmarais bdesmarais@psu.edu John Hird jhird@umass.edu <p>Unelected administrative policymakers rely on the domain expertise and technical integrity of scientific information to maintain perceptions of legitimacy. The necessity that regulatory policymakers rely on sound scientific evidence has been formalized at the US federal level through executive order. Yet, the practical impact of scientific evidence on public support and mobilization for policies remains unclear. We investigate whether individual policy activists are more likely to participate in regulatory policymaking when a policy recommendation is substantiated by scientific evidence. We investigate how two separate groups within the public—policy advocates and policy experts—may be affected differentially by scientific evidence. In collaboration with a nationally active policy advocacy group, we conducted a randomized messaging experiment in which members of the group’s e-mail list are sent one of three versions of a policy advocacy message. Results indicate that reference to evidence published in peer reviewed scientific sources increased activism by roughly 1 percentage point among general activists, and decreased activism by 4-5 percentage points among scientific experts.</p> 2019-04-17T17:58:04+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/45 Does voluntary disclosure matter when organizations violate stakeholder trust? 2019-05-21T21:12:42+00:00 Jurgen Willems jurgen.willems@uni-hamburg.de Lewis Faulk faulk@american.edu <p>The reputations of nonprofit organizations can be damaged as a result of an organizational scandal, as demonstrated by recent examples of international nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. Common practice and findings from studies using administrative data suggest that nonprofits can reduce the negative effects of scandals by voluntarily disclosing information about the event to stakeholders. This study tests those assumptions in an experimental framework and finds that organizations’ voluntary disclosure of a scandal does not effectively mitigate negative donation intentions following the crisis.</p> 2019-04-18T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/32 A bayesian approach for behavioral public administration: Citizen assessments of local government sustainability performance 2019-05-21T21:12:46+00:00 Aaron Deslatte adeslatte@gmail.com <p>Citizens are increasingly critical information-processors, and government performance information has become ubiquitous to the tenants of democratic anchorage and support for public programs. Yet human perceptions of governmental policies and outcomes are increasingly partisan and resistant to updating. Partisan motivated reasoning can lead to inaccurate or biased assessments of both the merit of specific policies and governmental performance. This article presents a case for the use of Bayesian inference for experimental work on information-processing. Combining previous findings with a new experimental design, this study examines whether provision of performance information on local government implementation of federally initiated sustainability efforts ameliorates the partisan motivated reasoning of citizens. Contrary to expectations, the study finds evidence of attitude-strengthening in the face of disconfirming performance as well as suggesting partisan cues may help citizens calibrate their evaluations.</p> 2019-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/51 Descriptive norms and gender diversity: Reactance from men 2019-05-21T21:12:45+00:00 Maliheh Paryavi malihehp@gmail.com Iris Bohnet iris_bohnet@hks.harvard.edu Alexandra van Geen vangeen@ese.eur.nl <p>Descriptive norms provide social information on others’ typical behaviors and have been shown to lead to prescriptive outcomes by “nudging” individuals towards norm compliance in numerous settings. This paper examines whether descriptive norms lead to prescriptive outcomes in the gender domain. We examine whether such social information can influence the gender distribution of candidates selected by employers in a hiring context.&nbsp; We conduct a series of laboratory experiments where ‘employers’ decide how many male and female ‘employees’ they want to hire for male- and female-typed tasks and examine whether employers are more likely to hire more of one gender when informed that others have done so as well. In this set-up descriptive norms do not have prescriptive effects. In fact, descriptive norms do not affect female employers’ hiring decisions at all and lead to norm reactance and backlash from male employers when informed that others have hired more women.</p> 2019-02-21T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/54 Testing local descriptive norms and salience of enforcement action: A field experiment to increase tax collection 2019-05-21T21:12:43+00:00 Christopher Larkin chris.larkin@bi.team Michael Sanders michael.t.sanders@kcl.ac.uk Isabelle Andresen isabellekandresen@gmail.com Felicity Algate felicity.algate@bi.team <p>The use of behavioral science interventions, and particularly social norms, in tax compliance is a growing industry for scholars and practitioners alike in recent years. However, the causal mechanism of these interventions is unknown, where effects could be explained by a pro-social desire to support one’s community, conditional cooperation, desire to conform, or fear of reprisals. We conduct a field experiment in local government taxation in the United Kingdom which tests the effectiveness of a social (descriptive) norm against a control condition and against messages that highlight the enforcement process. The social norm outperforms enforcement salience, suggesting that this explanation, although more powerful than the control, does not fully explain compliance effects. This study further provides evidence that social norm type interventions can be effective at the subnational level, a context where previous work has shown they may produce null effects.</p> 2019-04-17T19:24:30+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/49 Parents’ social norms and children’s exposure to three behavioral risk factors for chronic disease 2019-05-21T21:12:46+00:00 Oliver Drouin o.drouin@UMontreal.ca Jonathan P. Winickoff jwinickoff@partners.org Anne N. Thorndike athorndike@partners.org <p>Social norms predict health behaviors of adults and adolescents. We aimed to determine if parents’ beliefs about social norms were associated with children’s exposure to three behavioral risk factors. We asked 648 parents of children ages 0-18 years old attending two pediatric practices about their children’s exposure to smoking at home. Parents of 341 parents with children &gt;2 years old were also asked about insufficient dental care, and 435 with children aged &gt;12 months about their children’s sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Children were categorized as “at risk” or “not at risk” for each factor.The primary outcome was the parent-reported estimate of neighborhood prevalence of those same risk factors.Of eligible participants, 8% reported smoking at home, 23% that their child hadn’t seen a dentist for 6 months, and 35% that their child drank SSBs once a day or more. In multivariate analyses, parents with children in the “at risk” group estimated that the prevalence of each risk factor was higher in their neighborhood, than did participants with children in the “not at risk” group: difference of 12.2% [95% CI, 5.8%-18.6%] for tobacco-smoke exposure, 18.6% [95% CI, 10.7%-26.5%] for lack of regular dental visits and 12.1% [95% CI, 5.1%-19.0%] for SSB consumption (P&lt;0.001 for all comparisons).Parents of children exposed to three behavioral risk factors reported higher perceived prevalence of each risk factor compared to parents of children not at risk. Addressing parents’ social norms beliefs could help promote healthier behaviors of children.</p> 2019-01-01T00:00:00+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## https://journal-bpa.org/index.php/jbpa/article/view/52 Unpacking the influence of social norms and past experience on commute mode choice 2019-05-21T21:12:43+00:00 Matt Biggar mtbiggar@gmail.com <p>Researchers have identified the need for further study of subjective and social influences on personal transportation choices. Set in a workplace-based commute alternative program, this study examines the impact of transportation-related social context and past transportation experience on commute mode choice. Through a purposive, paired sample design with ten individuals, this qualitative study examines influences on commute behavior using narrative interviews and a commute documentation activity. The five pairs of individuals were matched across variables in such a way as to hold constant workplace, basic demographics, and residential location. Social norms found to influence individual use of alternative commute modes involved the commute behavior and attitudes of close social ties and the situational relevance of social ties’ commute behavior. These behavior-related social norms, coupled with past transportation experience and mediated by perceptions and feelings, were found to be helpful in explaining commute mode choice. Implications for social interventions that encourage use of alternative transportation modes are discussed.</p> 2019-04-03T18:04:21+00:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##