Does "satisfaction" with local public services affect complaints (voice) and geographic mobility (exit)?

Paul J. Devereux*, Burton A. Weisbrod

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Political systems may respond not only to elections but also to expressions of dissatisfaction through complaints and geographic mobility. Understanding the implications of citizen dissatisfaction with local public services is the goal of this article, which examines empirically two forms of consequences of dissatisfaction - complaints to governmental agencies and decisions to move. The authors find that dissatisfied individuals are more likely to complain and to plan to move and that these two courses of action appear to be substitutes. An implication of the findings that stated dissatisfaction does have predictable behavioral consequences is that survey data on satisfaction with public services have information content that has been underappreciated in economics research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-147
Number of pages25
JournalPublic Finance Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Complaints
  • Exit
  • Geographic mobility
  • Satisfaction
  • Voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


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