Assessing the Costs of Public Participation : A Case Study of Two Online Participation Mechanisms

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-199
Journal / PublicationAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


In 2009, the authors facilitated a citizen-participation process in a local community in Florida in the United States. Using an inductive content analysis across two online participation data sources, the study develops a set of testable propositions about cost functions of public participation. The study shows a nonlinear relationship between administrative costs and participation quantity. It also demonstrates no direct relationship between the costs and participation quality. Moreover, the cost functions vary in different participation mechanisms. These propositions provide a basis for future research to improve cost management in public participation. © The Author(s) 2012.

Research Area(s)

  • citizen participation, civic engagement, participation cost, public participation, public participation cost