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Policy feedback in the local context: analysing fairness perceptions of public childcare fees in a German town

  • Marius R. Busemeyer (a1) and Achim Goerres (a2)
Abstract

This article studies local processes of policy feedback by analysing citizens’ fairness perceptions of public childcare fees in a German town. Employing an experimental vignette study, we uncover complex feedback effects: first, citizens in the study regard a fee level as fair that is close to the actual fee level in the city, suggesting self-reinforcing feedback effects. Second, citizens strongly support a fee structure in which fees vary according to parental income. As this preferred fee structure differs from the local fee structure in the town itself, we interpret the citizens’ preference as evidence for self-undermining policy feedback. Finally, the actual characteristics of the respondents matter less than the fictitious characteristics of the parents in the vignettes, which points to the importance of interpretive rather than resource-based feedback effects. In concluding, we highlight the relevance of these findings for broader debates about policy feedback.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Email: Achim.Goerres@uni-due.de
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Cite this article: Busemeyer M.R., Goerres A. 2019. Policy feedback in the local context: analysing fairness perceptions of public childcare fees in a German town. Journal of Public Policy X: 1–22, doi:10.1017/S0143814X18000491

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