Explaining the race gap in satisfaction with urban services

Gregg G. Van Ryzin, Douglas Muzzio, Stephen Immerwahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Although racial differences in satisfaction with urban services have been observed for decades, perhaps the most consistent finding in the literature on citizen satisfaction and urban service delivery, little systematic effort has been directed at explaining this gap. Using two years of survey data from New York City, the authors find that socioeconomic status (SES) and neighborhood of residence explain only a small part of the gap in satisfaction across a range of urban services. Residents'trust of government appears to account for a fairly large proportion of the race gap. Still, significant differences in satisfaction remain between Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics for a number of services even after controlling for SES, neighborhood, and trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-632
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


  • Neighborhood
  • Race-ethnic differences
  • SES
  • Satisfaction with government services
  • Trust in government


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