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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Williams, Andrew, 2009. "On the release of information by governments: Causes and consequences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 124-138, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:89:y:2009:i:1:p:124-138
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Meixing Dai, 2009. "Public debt and currency crisis: how central bank opacity can make things bad?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(1), pages 190-198.
    3. Gisselquist, Rachel M., 2013. "Evaluating Governance Indexes: Critical and Less Critical Questions," WIDER Working Paper Series 068, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Christian Hubert Ebeke, 2011. "Remittances, Countercyclicality, Openness and Government Size," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 77(4), pages 89-114.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:70-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Parcero, Osiris J. & Papyrakis, Elissaios, 2016. "Income inequality and the oil resource curse," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 159-177.
    7. Yuko Hashimoto & K. M. Wacker, 2016. "The role of information for international capital flows: new evidence from the SDDS," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(3), pages 529-557, August.
    8. Julia Cagé, 2009. "Asymmetric information, rent extraction and aid efficiency," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575055, HAL.
    9. Andrew Williams, 2014. "The effect of transparency on output volatility," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 101-129, May.
    10. Geginat, Carolin & Saltane, Valentina, 2016. "“Open for Business?” —Transparent government and business regulation," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-21.
    11. Florin Cornel DUMITER, 2014. "Central Bank Independence, Transparency and Accountability Indexes: a Survey," Timisoara Journal of Economics and Business, West University of Timisoara, Romania, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 7(1), pages 35-54.
    12. Geginat, Carolin & Saltane, Valentina, 2014. "Transparent government and business regulation :"open for business?"," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7132, The World Bank.

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