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An empirical investigation of equitable distribution models of publicly provided recreation and park services in Austin, Texas
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This study examined perceptions of the equitable (fair) allocation of publicly provided resources for recreation and parks in Austin, Texas. Four basic equity models were examined; equality, demand, need and market equity. Three groups representing over 800 individuals (residents, park and recreation department employees and city council members) were surveyed to determine if equity preferences differed among survey respondents and between the eight recreation and park services studied. Selected descriptive variables such as race, use, income and zone of residence were examined using regression equations to ascertain their ability to explain the variance in equity response scores. The variable, level of facility use, most often showed a statistical significant difference for the sub-population of residents and the variable, years of education, most often identified significant differences among employees. Preference for equity models also varied between those employees having administrative level positions and their subordinates. Service types were examined to see if they were related to specific equity concepts. Using a series of analysis of variance procedures and Duncan's Multiple Range tests, it was found that equity preferences for resource allocation does vary between services. For example, the equity model most often chosen for financing organized athletic programs was to change fees, whereas this equity model was highly disfavored for the financing of neighborhood parks. Differences of opinion were also found to exist between the three sub-population of respondents. The most notable difference between groups was that department employees tended to be more supportive of citizen advocacy as a basis for allocating resources than were residents or council members. The study's results suggested that there may be justification for grouping services based upon these characteristics of clientele served, scope of service and benefits received. Three service dichotomies were compared; recreation and park services, fixed and moveable services and services that resemble public good or private goods. In each case the service characteristic did show differences. In summary the study shows that the equity model preferences which effect service allocation and citizen satisfaction with public service delivery are measurable, and they do differ between groups and services for recreation and parks in Austin, Texas.
DescriptionIncludes bibliographical references (leaves 292-300)
Subjectrecreation and resources development
1986 Dissertation W637
Austin (Tex)--Park facilities
Wicks, Bruce Erik (1986). An empirical investigation of equitable distribution models of publicly provided recreation and park services in Austin, Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Libraries. Available electronically from
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