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Exits, Voices and Social Investment
Citizens’ Reaction to Public Services

$28.99 (C)

Part of Theories of Institutional Design

  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107484184

$ 28.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Over fifty years ago, Albert Hirschman argued that dissatisfied consumers could either voice complaint or exit when they were dissatisfied with goods or services. Loyal consumers would voice rather than exit. Hirschman argued that making exit easier from publicly provided services, such as health or education, would reduce voice, taking the richest and most articulate away and this would lead to the deterioration of public services. This book provides the first thorough empirical study of these ideas. Using a modified version of Hirschman's account, examining private and collective voice, and viewing loyalty as a form of social investment, it is grounded on a dedicated five-year panel study of British citizens. Given government policies over the past decade or more which make exit easier from public providers, this is a timely publication for all those who care about the quality of government services.

    • The first empirical study of a central social scientific theory of public service provision
    • Provides a new understanding of how citizens react to public services
    • Shows how citizens can work to improve public services through lobbying and voting
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This restatement and intensive empirical exploration of Hirschman's classic ideas in the context of public services is not just very welcome as such, but is also an immensely good read." - Stephen Harrison, Honorary Professor of Social Policy, University of Manchester

    "This book is the culmination of an outstanding record of research by the authors. It is a very important theoretical and empirical contribution to our understanding of how citizens make decisions about public services." - Professor George Boyne, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107484184
    • length: 206 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.28kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 35 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Hirschman's original idea
    2. Exits, voices and the object of loyalty
    3. Exit, voice, loyalty and neglect
    4. The structure of UK public services and some simple relationships
    5. Evidence of the major EVL relationships
    6. Exit, voice and welfare
    Appendix A. Summary of the empirical literature testing EVL
    Appendix B. Note on statistical methods
    Appendix C. The survey instrument.

  • Authors

    Keith Dowding, Australian National University
    Keith Dowding is Professor of Political Science in the School of Politics and International Relations, Research School of Social Sciences and Director of the Research College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University.

    Peter John, King's College London
    Peter John is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, School of Public Policy at University College London.

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