The three exit, three voice and loyalty framework: A test with survey data on local services

Keith Dowding*, Peter John

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    75 Citations (Scopus)


    The article presents a modified Hirschman framework with three types of exit: moving location; moving from the public to a private sector provider; and moving between public sector providers; and three types of voice: private voice (complaining about private goods); voting; and collective action. Seven hypotheses are generated from this framework. The article then presents evidence from the first round of an online survey examining citizen satisfaction with public services and the relationship between exit and voice opportunities. We find dissatisfied people are more likely to complain privately, vote and engage in other forms of collective participation; but only a weak relationship exists between dissatisfaction and geographical exit. We find some evidence that the exit-voice trade-off might exist as more alert consumers are more likely to move from the public to the private sector and those 'locked in' are more likely to complain than those who have outside options. Overall the results tend to corroborate the hypotheses drawn from the modified Hirschman framework.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)288-311
    Number of pages24
    JournalPolitical Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


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