Summary - Public preferences

A methodological and substantive exploration of preferences for public services

Original title: Publieke voorkeuren

The government provides a wide array of service for its citizens. It is responsible for safeguarding public access to those services, including social security, care, social support, education, housing, public transport, sport and culture. Other areas of government responsibility are public order and safety, defence, development cooperation, environmental protection and the general administration of the country. Not everyone uses all these services to the same degree, and not all citizens attach the same value to them. It is therefore relevant for both politicians and policy makers to ask how different groups in Dutch society view the services that the government provides.

This report elaborates on methods for identifying people’s preferences in respect of public services, and explores the substantive insights that result from this. The study was carried out using a survey questionnaire developed by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), containing budget ‘games’ and vignette questions to map people’s preferences in relation to public services. This report offers methodological insights that are useful for measuring preferences in general and preferences for public services in particular. Although exploratory in nature, the report supplements the existing substantive knowledge in this field.