Defining and Measuring Coproduction: Deriving Lessons from Practicing Local Government Managers

Jeffrey L. Brudney, Yuan Cheng*, Lucas Meijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Following a lapse in scholarly attention, coproduction, the joint production of services by government officials and citizens, has re-emerged as an important topic. However, the field lacks information on broad parameters of coproduction implementation and how public managers view coproduction. To address the lacuna, this study examines patterns of implementation of coproduction in a national sample of municipalities and counties in the U.S. According to their chief administrators, nearly half these governments have implemented one or more stages of coproduction, although co-delivery of services occurs least often. Empirical analysis suggests that the implementation of coproduction, as perceived by local government managers, can be measured along a unidimensional scale and that this measurement scale is robust across different subgroups. We also find that local governments that have a larger population, provide more services, have more professional forms of administration, and are located in the western U.S. more often implement elements of coproduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-805
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Beth Gazley, Kathy Quick, Mark Levin, Nyle Zikmund, Chris Heineman, Heidi Nelson, and Kurt Ulrich for their comments and their help in the interpretations of our findings. We also thank the Editor and Peer Reviewers for Public Administration Review for their comments and suggestions. Finally, we want to thank Laura Goddeeris and Berna Oztekin from the ICMA survey research team for their assistance and support for this research project. The authors are solely responsible for the contents.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by The American Society for Public Administration.


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