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Measuring the quality of education and health services : the use of perception data from Indonesia

  • Dasgupta, Basab
  • Narayan, Ambar
  • Skoufias, Emmanuel

Satisfaction surveys offer a potentially convenient and cost-effective means for measuring the quality of services. However, concerns about subjectivity and selection bias impede greater use of satisfaction data. This paper analyzes satisfaction data about health and educational services from the 2006 second round of the Governance and Decentralization Survey in Indonesia to assess whether satisfaction data can serve as reliable indicators of quality, despite dubiously high levels of reported satisfaction. The authors use an expectation disconfirmation model that posits that a user’s satisfaction with a facility improves with the (positive) difference between the actual quality of the facility and the household’s expected standard for quality, which is influenced by its socioeconomic characteristics. The findings show that, after taking into account the expectations of households, reported satisfaction does vary significantly with objective indicators of quality. The analysis also checks for possible selection bias affecting the results by using a two-stage selection model. The model yields policy-relevant insights into the aspects of service delivery that most affect satisfaction, highlights differences across rich and poor districts, and shows that once the role of expectations has been factored in, the variation in user satisfaction can be highly informative for policymakers and researchers alike.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5033.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5033
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  1. Bobby Duffy, 2000. "Satisfaction and Expectations: Attitudes to public services in deprived areas," CASE Papers case45, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  2. Abhijit Banerjee & Angus Deaton & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Wealth, Health, and Health Services in Rural Rajasthan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 326-330, May.
  3. Lankford R. H. & Lee E. S. & Wyckoff J. H., 1995. "An Analysis of Elementary and Secondary School Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 236-251, September.
  4. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  5. Gregg G. Van Ryzin, 2004. "Expectations, performance, and citizen satisfaction with urban services," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 433-448.
  6. Samia Amin & Jishnu Das & Markus Goldstein, 2008. "Are You Being Served? New Tools for Measuring Services Delivery," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6921, August.
  7. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  8. Deichmann, Uwe & Lall, Somik V., 2003. "Are you satisfied? citizen feedback and delivery of urban services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3070, The World Bank.
  9. Ahmad, Junaid & Devarajan, Shantayanan & Khemani, Stuti & Shah, Shekhar, 2005. "Decentralization and service delivery," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3603, The World Bank.
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