Quality standards, implementation autonomy, and citizen satisfaction with public services : cross-national evidence
This article investigates whether citizens’ evaluations of service performance are related to archival measures of performance, and how institutional context shapes this relationship contingent on administrative autonomy – standards, human resources, and financial autonomy. Using cross-national education data, this study finds that student performance is positively associated with parental evaluations of schools. Perceptions are more closely aligned with performance when agencies have greater autonomy in managing employees, and when national-level bureaucracies set performance standards. This research advances our understanding of the role of administrative autonomy in citizen satisfaction and provides implications for the institutional designs that can benefit performance assessment.