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    Do Freedom of Information laws increase transparency of government? A replication of a field experiment

    Grimmelikhuijsen,, S. and John,, P. and Meijer,, A. and Worthy, Benjamin (2018) Do Freedom of Information laws increase transparency of government? A replication of a field experiment. Journal of Behavioral Public Administration 1 (2) , pp. 1-10. ISSN 2576-6465.

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    Abstract

    Transparency and responsiveness are core values of democratic governments, yet do Freedom of Information Laws - one of the legal basis for such values - actually help to increase these values? This paper reports a replication of a field experiment testing for the responsiveness of public authorities by Worthy et al (2016) in the United Kingdom. We sent 390 information requests to Dutch local government bodies, half of which were framed as official FOIA requests, the other half as informal requests for information. We were able to reproduce the original findings, that is, we found a positive effect of FOIA requests on responsiveness. The overall response rate of local governments was much higher (76%) and the size of the effect was larger than in the original experiment. Furthermore, the strongest effect of FOI was found on proactive disclosure (concordance), something that governments - strictly speaking - are not obliged to do according to the Dutch FOIA. Implications for future replication studies are discussed.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Openness, Local government, Information requests, Field experiment, Transparency, Freedom of Information
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Ben Worthy
    Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 10:02
    Last Modified: 24 Jun 2020 17:06
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/24005

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