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The Institutional, Economic and Social Determinants of Local Government Transparency

Abstract

Interest in public accountability and government transparency is increasing worldwide. The literature on the determinants of transparency is evolving but is still in its early stages. So far, it has typically focused on national or regional governments while neglecting the local government level. This paper builds on the scarce knowledge available in order to examine the economic, social, and institutional determinants of local government transparency in Spain. We draw on a 2010 survey and the transparency indexes constructed by the NGO Transparency International (Spain) in order to move beyond the fiscal transparency addressed in previous work. In so doing, we broaden the analysis of transparency to the corporate, social, fiscal, contracting, and planning activities of governments. Our results on overall transparency indicate that large municipalities and left-wing local government leaders are associated with better transparency indexes; while the worst results are presented by provincial capitals, cities where tourist activity is particularly important and local governments that enjoy an absolute majority. The analysis of other transparency categories generally shows the consistent impact of these determinants and the need to consider a wider set of variables to capture their effect

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oai:diposit.ub.edu:2445/58408Last time updated on 8/9/2016

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