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On the release of information by governments: Causes and consequences

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  • Williams, Andrew

Abstract

The release of economic and social data by a government provides many benefits to its citizens on a number of different levels. Information has value in itself (for example, to facilitate a more efficient allocation of resources), but it could also perhaps be seen as a signal of the degree of political and institutional transparency. In order to evaluate the potential association between the release of information and the institutional and economic circumstances across countries, a new index is developed that has extensive coverage across countries (175) and time (1960-2000), and is based on the quantity of reported socio-economic data contained in the World Development Indicators and the International Finance Statistics databases. Using a series of Granger-causality regressions, the release of information by governments is shown to have a significant positive effect on the quality of the bureaucracy in the short run and, in the longer term, a significant effect on investment and financial sector development. In terms of reverse causality, the evidence shows that the degree of constraints on the executive branch of government and education both have a positive effect on the quantity of data released by governments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 89 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 124-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:89:y:2009:i:1:p:124-138

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

Related research

Keywords: Bureaucracy Institutional quality Information asymmetries;

References

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  1. Roumeen Islam, 2006. "Does More Transparency Go Along With Better Governance?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 121-167, 07.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances, Countercyclicality, Openness and Government Size," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 77(4), pages 89-114.
  2. Gisselquist, Rachel M., 2013. "Evaluating governance indexes: Critical and less critical questions," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Dai, Meixing, 2008. "Public debt and currency crisis: how central bank opacity can make things bad?," MPRA Paper 13867, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Williams, Andrew, 2011. "Shining a Light on the Resource Curse: An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Natural Resources, Transparency, and Economic Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 490-505, April.
  5. Julia Cagé, 2009. "Asymmetric information, rent extraction and aid efficiency," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575055, HAL.

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