Let the Sunshine in: Why Countries Adopt Freedom of Information Acts
23 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 6, 2014
Over the last decade, some fifty countries around the world have adopted Freedom of Information Acts (FOIAs), which allow citizens to force the release of information from public offices. Here, we are interested in analyzing the determinants for adopting FOIAs. We apply a set of survival analysis techniques to identify the cultural, political and economic determinants that lead countries to adopt a FOIA. We further distinguish the adoption of constitutionally entrenched information rights from weaker forms of self-commitment to government transparency. We find that there are marked differences in the variables explaining the existence of FOIAs and their inclusion in the constitution.
Keywords: Freedom of Information Acts, FOIA, Endogenous Constitutions, Governance, Transparency, Policy Diffusion
JEL Classification: D72, D73, H11, H83, K39, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation