Daniel Cheng


My research agenda is focused on a range of theoretical and managerial questions lying at the nexus of governance, government-nonprofit relationships, co-production, and the distributional and performance implications of cross-sector collaboration. I am particularly interested in how government agencies, nonprofits, and citizens interact in joint public service provision and the performance implications of alternative service provision mechanisms. My most recent work examines the processes and consequences of nonprofits becoming important players in creating and financing public services, using evidence from parks and recreation services in large U.S. cities.

I am currently extending my research on collaboration and government-nonprofit relationships in a number of areas. Current research projects include a study investigating how collaboration with government agencies and nonprofit organizations shape local governments' engagement in planning for climate change adaptation, an investigation into the determinants of local governments engaging in different forms of coproduction in public service provision, a project tracking how the shift from the contracting model to the collaborative governance model changes government-nonprofit relationships, and a set of studies that explore the performance and distributional consequences of government-nonprofit partnerships. I am also beginning to extend my research inquiries in non-Western settings, including a project examining the dual role of transparency and government ties in shaping Chinese foundations' resource mobilization capacities. Overall, my research agenda is driven by the goal of better understanding the impact of nonprofit organizations in shaping public service provision, especially in situations where nonprofits are beyond the "tools" of government.