While performance information is often used to communicate the importance of public policies and stimulate civic engagement, we know little about the processes that connect the two. This study proposes a conceptual model that links performance information to a specific form of public engagement: coproduction. Drawing on insights from information aversion theory, we argue that the effect of performance information on engagement in coproduction depends on levels of policy understanding and the valence of performance information that individuals are exposed to. Specifically, we predict that individuals exposed to positive performance information will understand the policy better than those exposed to negative performance information. Further, we predict that higher levels of policy understanding will increase coproduction engagement intentions. These predictions are examined using two experiments and a representative sample of US residents (n = 836). Findings indicate that participants best understood positive information and that understanding significantly increased coproduction engagement intentions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration