Can user perception influence the quality of water services? Evidence from León, Nicaragua
This article investigates the validity of citizen feedback to evaluate the quality of water services in León, Nicaragua. Using generalized ordered logit models, this study presents a comprehensive evaluation of user satisfaction from water service characteristics. Potential asymmetries in the response of user satisfaction to relative perception of service performance are also investigated. Findings indicate that citizen satisfaction is based on basic service characteristics rather than socio-demographics, and that relativity matters. Users tend to overemphasize their frustration if they perceive that they have lower quality of water services than their peers, and understate their satisfaction if they perceive that they have better services. Points for practitioners: Based on the evidence presented in this article, citizen surveys can be used as a tool to improve water services, particularly in places where public service users have no voice and alternatives to cope with low quality services do not exist. However, citizen survey results should be carefully interpreted given that users overemphasize their frustration if they perceive that they have lower quality of services than their peers. Policy design based on citizen surveys should take into account this potential asymmetry in citizen satisfaction, particularly in places with heterogeneous service performance.
International Review of Administrative Sciences
Vasquez-Mazariegos, William F.; Trudeau, Jennifer; and Franceschi, Dina, "Can user perception influence the quality of water services? Evidence from León, Nicaragua" (2011). Economics Faculty Publications. 28.
Vásquez, William F., Jennifer Trudeau, and Dina Franceschi. "Can user perception influence the quality of water services? Evidence from León, Nicaragua." International Review of Administrative Sciences 77, no. 3 (2011): 481-503. doi: 10.1177/0020852311407363.