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What information do citizens want? Evidence from one million information requests in Mexico

Berliner, Daniel, Bagozzi, Benjamin E. and Palmer-Rubin, Brian (2018) What information do citizens want? Evidence from one million information requests in Mexico. World Development, 109. pp. 222-235. ISSN 0305-750X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.04.016

Abstract

While scholars have emphasized the importance of information for accountability, little research has addressed the demand for government information by real citizens. We study the totality of information requests filed with Mexican federal government agencies from 2003 to 2015, over 1 million requests in all. We use unsupervised methods to categorize requests, revealing the diversity of topics including environment, security, budgets, and government procurement and employees. While many topics have clear public accountability-seeking purposes, others are focused on more private, micro-political goals. Analysis over time and across states reveals linkage between information demand and issues of public interest such as environmental impacts and criminal violence. Our results demonstrate that, given functioning access-to-information institutions, citizens in a transitional democracy really do demand information relevant to public accountability.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 13:24
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 12:29
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100496

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