Coercion and residence: Modeling coproduction and its impact on neighborhood safety evaluations
McKean, Mike (Michael L.)
Stein, Robert M.
Master of Arts
Diseconomies of scale and other constraints make it difficult for urban governments to provide adequately some public goods and services. One such service is community safety. But citizen coproduction, through such activities as crime patrols, can enhance supply. Proponents of urban decentralization suggest coproduction at the neighborhood level can lead to more efficient AND more equitable service delivery. But successful coproduction requires coercion and/or selective incentives for individuals to overcome the free-rider problem. The determinants of coercive capacity can be distributed in a decidedly inequitable fashion. This paper examines the case of Houston-area neighborhood associations and concludes such associations CAN effectively improve neighborhood safety through coproduction, but at the price of equity. Socio-economic status, home ownership, and length of neighborhood residence influence an association's coercive capacity. This capacity, in conjunction with residential location, influences perceptions of neighborhood safety, an indirect measure of coproductive output.