Faculty Publications

Title

The condition of community streets and parks: A comparison of resident and nonresident evaluations

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Public Administration Review

Volume

65

Issue

3

First Page

360

Last Page

368

Abstract

Practitioners and scholars are concerned that citizen surveys about community services are heavily influenced by respondents' opinions on other issues and by their sociodemographic backgrounds. We search for these biases by examining the extent to which citizen assessments of streets and parks in Iowa communities match the assessments of a nonresident. The citizens' ratings correlate significantly with the nonresident's ratings, indicating that citizen evaluations are not entirely the product of other influences. However, further analysis reveals some bias. In particular, streets are rated higher in wealthy towns, towns high in political efficacy, and towns where residents rate government services good overall. Parks are rated higher in towns where people come together to solve problems and in towns where people rate government services good overall. Even with these biases, our research indicates that citizen evaluations convey reasonably accurate information about the condition of community streets and parks.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2005

DOI of published version

10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00460.x

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