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Does More Transparency Go Along With Better Governance?

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  • ROUMEEN ISLAM

Abstract

This paper explores the link between information flows and governance. It develops a new indicator, the transparency index, which measures the frequency with which governments update economic data that they make available to the public. The paper also uses the existence of a Freedom of Information Act and the length of time for which it has been in existence as an indicator reflecting the overall legislative environment for transparency. Measures of the type developed in this paper have hitherto not been used in the cross‐country literature on governance and growth. Cross‐country regression estimation shows that countries with better information flows as measured by these indices also govern better.

Suggested Citation

  • Roumeen Islam, 2006. "Does More Transparency Go Along With Better Governance?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 121-167, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:18:y:2006:i:2:p:121-167
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2006.00166.x
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    1. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Natural openness and good government," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2411, The World Bank.
    2. David E. M. Sappington & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Privatization, information and incentives," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 567-585.
    3. World Bank, 2002. "The Right to Tell : The Role of Mass Media in Economic Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15212, June.
    4. Daniel Kaufmann & Aart Kraay & Massimo Mastruzzi, 2004. "Governance Matters III: Governance Indicators for 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 253-287.
    5. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
    6. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Money, Imperfect Information and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2002. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media," NBER Working Papers 9309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114.
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