Do freedom of information laws improve bureaucratic efficiency? An empirical investigation

Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya, and Cooray, Arusha (2016) Do freedom of information laws improve bureaucratic efficiency? An empirical investigation. Oxford Economic Papers, 68 (4). pp. 968-993.

[img] PDF (Publisher Accepted Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Previous studies find that adopting Freedom of Information (FOI) laws increase reporting of corruption, as this facilitates the right of access to governmental information. Thus, it is argued that FOI laws increase transparency and enhance government accountability. However, whether or not adopting such transparency laws improves bureaucratic efficiency remains unexplored. We provide first quantitative evidence on the impact of FOI laws on bureaucratic efficiency. Using panel data on 132 countries from 1990 to 2011, we find that adopting FOI laws, and in particular 'stronger' FOI laws, is associated with an improvement in bureaucratic efficiency, after controlling for self-section bias. FOI laws appear to be more effective in the long run, and if combined with a higher degree of media freedom, presence of non-governmental organization activism, and political competition. These findings are robust to controlling for endogeneity using instrumental variables, alternative samples, and estimation methods.

Item ID: 69193
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-3812
Copyright Information: © Oxford University Press 2016.All rights reserved
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 02:24
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380112 Macroeconomics (incl. monetary and fiscal theory) @ 50%
38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380113 Public economics - public choice @ 50%
SEO Codes: 15 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 1502 Macroeconomics > 150299 Macroeconomics not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page