Public policy, trust and growth: disclosure of government information in Japan
Since the end of the 1990s, local governments in Japan have enacted Information Disclosure Ordinances, which require the disclosure of official government information. This paper uses Japanese prefecture-level data for the period 1998–2004 to examine how this enactment affected economic growth. Furthermore, this paper explores how generalized trust is associated with the effect of information disclosure on economic growth. The Dynamic Panel model is used to control for unobserved prefecture specific effects and endogenous bias. The major findings are: (1) disclosure of government information has a positive effect on GDP growth; and (2) generalized trust enhances this effect on GDP growth. This implies that social trust has a critical influence on the effectiveness of policy.
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