The Relationship Between Government Response Speed and Sentiments of Public Complaints: Empirical Evidence From Big Data on Public Complaints in South Korea

SAGE Open, Volume 13, Issue 2, April-June 2023.
This article utilizing unique data on 37,655 public complaints in South Korea from April 2021 to March 2022 aims to unveil the association between sentiments in public complaints or petitions and government response speed. We estimate sentiments in each complaint with five morphological analyzers and employ negative binomial regression models. The empirical results demonstrate that public complaints with the sentiment of Fear tend to receive faster governmental responses while complaints with the sentiment of Sorrow are more likely to be addressed slowly. The influence of the sentiment of Fear and Sorrow is consistently robust in logistic event history models, while the sentiment of Anger is not statistically significant anymore. The results contribute to the literature on political psychology by demonstrating that facing public complaints dominated by different sentiments can influence the efficiency of civil servants. At the same time, this article suggests providing periodical counseling and education for civil servants who continuously face waves of negative sentiments to treat public complaints expertly.

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