Determining Factors of Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments: A Meta-Analytic Study
The importance granted to information transparency in improving the accountability of public administrations has become increasingly greater in recent years under a scenario of economic and financial crisis as a tool of control. Although academic studies are aimed at identifying the key factors underlying a higher level of economic-financial information disclosure by local governments, there exists considerable heterogeneity in the results obtained. In this sense, we have carried out a meta-analysis to validate previous empirical results, and highlight causes of the variations and contradictions identified. Our study shows the variables analysed to be positively associated with the disclosure of public financial information, but also that this depends on the context in which the research is carried out.
Baber, W. R. & Gore, A. K. (2008) Consequences of GAAP Disclosure Regulation Evidence from Municipal Debt Issues. The Accounting Review, 83(3), pp. 565-592, doi: 10.2308/accr.2008.83.3.565.
Baber, W. R. & Sen, P. K. (1984) The role of generally accepted reporting methods in the public sector: An empirical test, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 3(2), pp. 91-106, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(84)90002-4.
Ball, R., Kothari, S. P. & Robin, A. (2000) The effect of International Institutional Factors on properties of accounting earnings, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 29(1), pp. 1-51, doi: 10.1016/S0165-4101(00)00012-4.
Bel, G. & Fageda, X. (2009) Factors explaining local privatization: a meta-regression analysis, Public Choice, 139(1-2), pp. 105-119, doi: 10.1007/s11127-008-9381-z.
Bel, G., Fageda, X. & Warner, M. (2010) A meta-regression analysis of solid waste and water services, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 29(3), pp. 553-577, doi: 10.1002/pam.20509.
Brown D, (2005) Electronic government and public administration, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 71(2), pp. 241-254, doi: 10.1177/0020852305053883.
Burritt, R. L. & Schaltegger, S. (2010) Sustainability accounting and reporting: fad or trend?, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 23(7), 829-846, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513571011080144.
Caba, C., Rodríguez, M. P. & López, A. M. (2008) e-Government process and incentives for online public financial information, Online Information Review, 32(3), pp. 379-400, doi: 10.1108/14684520810889682.
Cárcaba, A. & García, J. (2008) Factors behind the Disclosure of Accounting Information Online on Behalf of Local Governments, Revista Española de Financiación y Contabilidad –Spanish Journal of Finance and Accounting, 38(137), pp. 63-84.
Cárcaba, A. & García, J. (2010) Determinants of Online Reporting of Accounting Information by Spanish Local Government Authorities, Local Government Studies, 36(5): pp. 679-695, 10.1108/14684520810865976.
Carmeli, A. (2003) Introduction: Fiscal and financial crises of local governments, International Journal of Public Administration, 26(13), pp. 1423-1430, doi: 10.1081/PAD-120024404#tabModule.
Carpenter, V. L. (1991) The influence of Political Competition on the Decision to Adopt GAAP, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 10(2), pp. 105-134, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(91)90008-8.
Carpenter, V. L. & Feroz, E. H. (2001) Institutional Theory and Accounting Rule Choice: An Analysis of Four US State Governments’ Decision to Adopt Generally Accounting Accepted Principles, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26(7-8), pp. 565-596, doi: 10.1016/S0361-3682(00)00038-6.
Cegarra, J. G., Córdoba, J. R. & Moreno, J. L. (2012) E-government and citizen’s engagement with local affairs through e-websites: The case of Spanish municipalities, International Journal of Information Management, 32(5), pp. 469-478, doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2012.02.008.
Chan H. S. & Rosenbloom, D. H. (2010) Four Challenges to Accountability in Contemporary Public Administration: Lessons From the United States and China, Administration and Society, 42(1Suppl), pp. 11S-33S, doi: 10.1177/0095399710361851.
Chan, J. L. (2003) Government accounting: an assessment of theory, purposes and standards, Public Money and Management, 23(1), pp. 13-20, doi: 10.1111/1467-9302.00336#.VLl-syuG_T8.
Christiaens, J. (1999) Financial accounting reforms in Flemish municipalities: An empirical investigation, Financial Accountability and Management, 15(1), pp 21-40, doi: 10.1111/1468-0408.00072.
Collin, S. O., Tagesson, T., Andersson, A., Cato, J. & Hansson, K. (2009) Explaining the Choice of Accounting Standards in Municipal Corporations: Positive Accounting Theory and Institutional Theory as Competitive or Concurrent Theories, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 20(2), pp. 141-174, doi: 10.1016/j.cpa.2008.09.003.
Cooper, H. M. & Hedges, L. V. (eds.) (1994) The Handbook of Research Synthesis (New York: Sage).
Cooper, H. M. & Hedges, L. V. (eds.) (1994) The Handbook of Research Synthesis (New York: Sage).
Copley. P. A. (1991) The Association between Municipal Disclosure Practices and Audit Quality, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 10(4), pp. 245-266, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(91)90001-Z.
Cuillier, D. & Piotrowski, S. J. (2009) Internet information-seeking and its relation to support for access to government records, Government Information Quarterly, 26(3), pp. 441-449, doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2009.03.001.
Cullen, R. & Sommer, L. (2011) Participatory democracy and the value of online community networks: An exploration of online and offline communities engaged in civil society and political activity, Government Information Quarterly, 28(2), pp. 148-154, doi: 10.1016/j.giq.2010.04.008.
Da Silva Monteiro, S. M. & Aibar-Guzmán, B. (2010) Determinants of environmental disclosure in the annual reports of large companies operating in Portugal, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 17(4), pp. 185–204, doi: 10.1002/csr.197.
Derfuss, K. (2009) The Relationship of Budgetary Participation and Reliance on accounting Performance Measures with Individual-Level Consequent Variables: A Meta-Analysis, European Accounting Review, 18(2), pp 203-239, doi: 10.1080/09638180802652371.
DiMaggio, P. J. & Power, W. W. (1983) The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields, American Sociological Review, 48(2), pp. 147-160, doi 10.2307/2095101?sid=21105689629573&uid=2&uid=3737952&uid=4.
Dollery, B. & Grant, B. (2011) Financial sustainability and financial viability in Australian Local Government, Public Finance and Management, 11(1), pp. 28-47.
Dwyer, P. D. & Wilson, E. R. (1989) An Empirical Investigation of Factors Affecting the Timeliness of Reporting by Municipalities, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 8(1), pp. 29-55, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(89)90010-0.
Eckard, S. (2008) Political Accountability, Fiscal Conditions and Local Government Performance-Cross-Sectional Evidence from Indonesia, Public Administration and Development,28(1), pp. 1-17, doi: 10.1002/pad.475.
Evans J. H III & Patton, J. M. (1983) An economic analysis of participation in the municipal finance officers’ association certificate of conformance program, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 5(1), pp. 151-175, doi: 10.1016/0165-4101(83)90009-5.
Evans J. H III & Patton, J. M. (1987) Signalling and Monitoring in Public-Sector Accounting, Journal of Accounting Research, 25(Supplement), pp. 130-158.
Feroz, E. H., Carpenter, V. L. & Cheng, R. H. (2007) Toward An Empirical Institutional Governance Theory, Corporate Ownership and Control, 4(4), pp. 30-46.
García, E. & Sánchez, J. P. (2010) The Association of Board Independence and Ownership Concentration with Voluntary Disclosure: A Meta-analysis, European Accounting Review, 19(3), pp. 603-627, doi: 10.1080/09638180.2010.496979.
Giroux, G. (1989) Political interest and government accounting disclosure, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 8(3), pp. 199-217, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(89)90004-5.
Giroux, G. & Deis, D. (1993) Investor Interest and Government Accounting Disclosure, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 63(1), pp. 63-78, doi: 10.1108/09513579310027530.
Giroux, G. & McLelland, A. J. (2003) Governance structures and accounting at large municipalities, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 22(3), pp. 203-230, doi: 10.1016/S0278-4254(03)00020-6.
Gore, A. K. (2004) The effects of GAAP regulation and bond market interaction on local government disclosure, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 23(1), pp. 23-52, doi: 10.1016/j.jaccpubpol.2003.11.002.
Gore, A. K., Sachs, K. & Trzcinka, C. (2004) Financial disclosure and bond insurance, The Journal of Law and Economics, 47(1), pp. 275-306, doi: 10.1086/380472.
Hartley, J. (2005) Innovation in Governance and Public Services: Past and Present, Public Money and Management, 25(1), pp. 27-34., doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9302.2005.00447.x.
Hedges, L. V. (1984) Research Synthesis: The State of Art, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 19(2), pp. 85-93.
Heeks, R. (2005) E-Government as a Carrier of Context. Journal of Public Policy, 25 (1), pp. 51-74, doi: 10.1017/S0143814X05000206.
Herian, M, N, Hamm, J. A, Tomkins, A. J. & Pytlik, L. M. (2012) Public participation, procedural fairness, and evaluations of local governance: the moderating role of uncertainty, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22(4), pp. 815–840, doi: 10.1093/jopart/mur064.
Hirzalla, F., Van Zoonen, L. & Ridder, J. de (2011) Internet Use and Political Participation: Reflections on the Mobilization/Normalization Controversy, The Information Society, 27(1), pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1080/01972243.2011.534360.
Ho, A. (2002) Reinventing Local Governments and the E-Government Initiative, Public Administration Review, 62(4), pp. 434-444, doi: 10.1111/0033-3352.00197.
Hoffman, A. J. (1999) Linking Organizational and Field-Level Analysis. The Diffusion of Corporate Environmental Practice, Organization Environment, 14(2), pp. 133-156, doi: 10.1177/1086026601142001.
Hood, C. (1995) The “New Public Management” in the 1980s: Variations on a theme, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 20(2-3), pp. 93-109, doi: 10.1016/0361-3682(93)E0001-W.
Hunter, J. E. & Schmidt, F. L. (2000) Fixed effects vs. Random effects meta-analysis models: implications for cumulative research knowledge, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 8(4), pp. 275-292, doi: 10.1111/1468-2389.00156.
Hunter, J. E. & Schmidt, F. L. (2004) Methods of Meta-Analysis: Correcting Error and Bias in Research Findings, (2nd ed.). (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage).
Hunter, J. E., Schmidt, F. L. & Jackson, G. B. (1982) Meta-analysis: Cumulating research finding across studies (Studying Organizations) (Bervely Hill CAadd place: Sage Publications, Inc.).
Ingram, R. W. (1984) Economic Incentives and the Choice of State Government Accounting Practices, Journal of Accounting Research, 22(1), pp. 126-144.
Ingram, R. W. & DeJong, D. V. (1987) The effect of regulation on Local Government Disclosure Practices, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 6(4), pp. 245-270, doi: 10.1016/S0278-4254(87)80002-9.
Jensen, M. & Meckling, W. (1976) Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure, Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4), pp. 305-360, doi: 10.1016/0304-405X(76)90026-X.
Jho, W. (2005) Challenges for e-governance: protests from civil society on the protection of privacy in e-government in Korea, International Review of Administrative Science, 71(1), pp. 151-166, doi: 10.1177/0020852305051690.
Kickert, W. (1997) Public Management Reforms in Countries with a Napoleonic State Model: France, Italy and Spain, In: Pollitt, C., Van Thiel, S. & Homburg, W. (eds.) New Pubic Management in Europe: Adaptations and Alternatives (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan), pp. 26-51.
Kraemer, K. & King, J. L. (2006) Information Technology and Administrative Reform: Will e-Government be different?, International Journal of Electronic Government Research, 2(1), pp. 1-20, doi: 10.4018/jegr.2006010101.
La Porte R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F. & Shleifer, A. (2006) What works in securities laws? The Journal of Finance, 61(1), pp. 1-32, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2006.00828.x.
Lan, Z. & Anders, K. K. (2000) A Paradigmatic View of Contemporary Public Administration Research: An Empirical Test, Administration and Society, 32(2), pp. 138-165, doi: 0.1177/00953990022019380.
Laswad, F., Fisher, R. & Oyelere, P. (2005) Determinants of voluntary Internet financial reporting by local government authorities, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 24(1), pp. 101-121, doi: 10.1016/j.jaccpubpol.2004.12.006.
Light, R. J. & Pillemer, D. B. (1984) Summing Up: The Science of Reviewing Research (Cambridge: Harvard University Press).
Lim, S. & J. McKinnon. (1993) Voluntary disclosure by NSW statutory authorities: the influence of political visibility, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 12(3), pp. 189-216, doi: 10.1016/0278-4254(93)90027-9.
Lipsey, M. W. (1990) Design sensitivity: Statistical power for experimental research (Newbury Park, CA: Stage).
Lipsey, M. W. & Wilson, D. B. (2001) Practical meta-analysis (Applied Social Research Methods) (Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage).
Longhi, S., P. Nijkamp & J. Poot (2010) Meta-analyses of labour-market impacts of immigration: key conclusions and policy implications, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 28(5), pp. 819-833, doi: 10.1068/c09151r.
Lüder, K. (1992) A Contingency Model of Governmental Accounting Innovations in the Political-Administrative Environment, Research in Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting, 7(1), pp. 99-127.
Lüder, K. (1994) The “contingency model” reconsidered: Experiences form Italy, Japan and Spain. In Perspectives on Performance Measurement and Public Sector Accounting, In: Buschor, E. & Schedle, K. (eds.) Perspectives on Performance Measurement (Berne: Haupt), pp. 1-15.
Malone, D. (2006) An exploration of municipal financial disclosure and certain dimensions of political culture, Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal, 10(1), pp. 7-23.
Martinsen, D. S. & Beg Jørgensen T, (2010) Accountability as a differentiated value in supranational governance, The American Review of Public Administration, 40(6), pp. 742–760, doi: 10.1177/0275074010366300.
McCormick, R. & Tollison, R. (1981) Politicians, Legislation, and the Economy: An Inquiry into the Interest-group Theory of Government (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff).
McLelland, A. J. & Giroux, G. (2000) An empirical analysis of auditor report timing by large municipalities, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 19(3), pp. 263-281, doi: 10.1016/S0278-4254(00)00011-9.
Moon, D. F. & Moon, M. J. (2005) Advancing E-Government at the Grassroots; Tortoise or Hare?. Public Administration Review, 65(1), pp. 64-75, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2005.00431.x.
Mutula, S. & Wamukoya, J. M. (2009) Public sector information management in east and southern Africa: implications for FOI, democracy and integrity in government. International Journal of Information Management, 29(5), pp. 333-341, doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2009.04.004.
Pallot, J. (2001) A decade in review: New Zealand’s experience with resource accounting and budgeting, Financial Accountability and Management, 17(4), pp. 383-400, doi: 10.1111/1468-0408.00140.
Pina, V., Torres, L. & Royo, S. (2007) Are ICTs Improving Transparency and Accountability in the EU Regional and Local Governments? An Empirical Study, Public Administration 85(2), pp. 449-472, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.2007.00654.x.
Pina, V., Torres, L. & Royo, S. (2009) E-government Evolution in EU Local Government a Comparative Perspective, Online Information Review, 33(6), pp. 1137-1168, doi: 10.1108/14684520911011052.
Pina, V., Torres, L. & Royo, S. (2010) Is E-government Promoting Convergence Towards More Accountable Local Governments?, International Public Management Journal, 13(4), pp. 350-380, doi: 10.1080/10967494.2010.524834.
Plümber, T. & Radaelli, C. M. (2004) Publish or perish? Publications and citations of Italian political scientists in international political science journals, 1990-2002, Journal of European Public Policy, 11(6), pp. 1112-1127, doi: 10.1080/1350176042000298138.
Pollitt, C. & Bouckaert, G. (2004) Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Pomeroy, B. & Thornton, D. B. (2008) Meta-analysis and the Accounting Literature: The Case of Audit Committee Independence and Financial Reporting Quality, European Accounting Review, 17(2), pp. 305-330, doi: 10.1080/09638180701819832.
Preston, L. & Post, J. (1975) Private Management and Public Policy (Stanford, CA: Prentice Hall).
Ribeiro, J. A. & Scapens, R. W. (2006) Institutional theories in management accounting change: Contributions, issues and path for development, Qualitative Research in Accounting & Mangement, 3(2), pp. 94-111, doi: 10.1108/11766090610670640.
Robbins W. A. & Austin, K. R. (1986) Disclosure quality in governmental financial reports: an assessment of the appropriateness of a compound measure, Journal of Accounting Research, 24(5), pp. 412-421.
Rodríguez, L., García, I. & Gallego, I. (2011) Determining factors of e-Government development: A Worldwide national approach, International Public Management Journal, 14(2), pp. 218-248, doi: 10.1080/10967494.2011.597152.
Rodríguez, M. P., Alcaide, L. & López, A. M. (2010) Trends of e-Government Research. Contextualization and Research Opportunities, The International Journal of Digital Accounting Research, 10(1), pp. 87-111.
Rodríguez, M. P., Caba, C. & López, A. M. (2007) E-Government and Public Financial Reporting. The Case of Spanish Regional Governments, American Review of Public Administration, 37(2), pp. 142-177, doi: 10.1177/0275074006293193.
Rosenthal, R. (1991) Meta-analytic Procedures for Social Research (Applied Social Research Methdos), Applied Social Research Methods (Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage).
Rosenthal, R. (1994) Statistically describing and combining studies, in Cooper and Hedges: The handbook of research synthesis (New York: Russell Sage Foundation).
Ryan. C., Stanley, T. & Nelson, M. (2002) Accountability disclosures by Queensland local government councils: 1997-1989, Financial Accountability and Management, 18(3), pp. 261-289, doi: 10.1111/1468-0408.00153.
Schillemans T., Van Twist M & Vanhommerig, I. (2013) Innovation in accountability. Learning through interactive, dynamic, and citizen-initiated forms of accountability, Public Performance and Management Review, 36(3), pp. 407-435, doi: 10.2753/PMR1530-9576360302.
Serrano C, Rueda, M. & Portillo, P. (2009) Factors influencing e-disclosure in local public administration, Environment and planning C: Government and Policy, 27(2), pp. 355-378, doi: 10.1068/c07116r.
Shadish, W. R. & Haddock, C. K. (1994) Combining estimates of effect size, In: Cooper, H. & Hedges, L. V. (eds.) The Handbook of Research Synthesis (New York: Russell Sage Foundation), pp. 261-281.
Smith, K. A. (2004) Voluntarily reporting performance measures to the public a test of accounting reports from U. S. Cities, International Public Management Journal, 7(1), pp. 19-48.
Stanley, T. D. (2001) Wheat from Chaff: Meta-Analysis As Quantitative Literature Review Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(3), pp. 131-150.
Stanley, T. D. & Jarrell, S. B. (1989) Meta-regression analysis: A quantitative method of literature surveys. Journal of Economic Surveys, 3(2), pp 54-67, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6419.1989.tb00064.x.
Styles, A. K., & Tennyson, M. (2007) The accessibility of financial reporting of U.S. Municipalities on the Internet, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management, 19(1), pp. 56-92.
Tolbert, C. J. & Mossberger, K. (2006) The effects of e-Government on trust and confidence in Government, Public Administration Review, 66(3), pp. 354-369, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2006.00594.x.
Torres, L. (2004) Trajectories in Public Administration Reforms in European Continental Countries, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 63(3), pp. 99-111.
Torres, L., Pina, V. & Acerete, B. (2006) E-governance Developments in European Union Cities: Reshaping Government’s Relationship with Citizens, Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions, 19(2), pp. 277-302, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2004.00394.x.
Torres, L., Pina, V. & Royo, S. (2005) E-government and the Transformation of Public Administrations in EU Countries: Beyond NPM or Just a Second Wave of Reforms?, Online Information Review, 29(5), pp. 531-553, doi: 10.1108/14684520510628918.
Venugopal, V. & Yilmaz, S. (2010) Decentralization in Tanzania: an assessment of local government discretion and accountability, Public Administration and Development, 30(3), pp. 215-231, doi: 10.1002/pad.556.
Wallis, J. & Gregory, R. (2009) Leadership, Accountability and Public Value: Resolving a Problem in “New Governance”?, International Journal of Public Administration, 32(3), pp. 250–273, doi: 10.1080/01900690902732608.
Wang, X. (2002) Assessing Administrative Accountability. Results from a National Survey, American Review of Public Administration, 32(3), pp. 350-370, doi: 10.1177/0275074002032003005.
Welch, E. W., Hinnant, C. C. & Moon, M. J. (2005) Linking citizen satisfaction with e-government and trust in government, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15(3), pp. 1-21, doi: 10.1093/jopart/mui021.
Wu, K., Zhao, Y., Zhu, Q., Xiaojie, T. & Zheng, H. (2011) A meta-analysis of the impact of trust on technology acceptance model: investigation of moderating influence of subject and context type, International Journal of Information Management, 31(6), pp. 572-581, doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2011.03.004.
Yang K (2012) Further understanding accountability in public organizations: Actionable knowledge and the structure – agency duality, Administration and Society, 44(3), pp. 255-284, doi: 10.1177/0095399711417699.
Yeung, R. (2009) The effects of Fiscal Decentralization on the Size of Government: A Meta-Analysis, Public Budgeting and Finance, 29(4), pp. 1-23, doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5850.2009.00940.x.
Yilmaz, S, Beris, Y. & Serrano-Berthet, R. (2008) Local government discretion and accountability: a local governance framework, Social Development Working Paper No. 113 (Washington DC: World Bank).
Zafra, J. L., López, A. M. & Hernández, A. (2009) Developing an alert system for local governments in financial crisis, Public Money and Management, 29(3), pp. 175-181, doi: 10.1080/09540960902891731.
It is a condition that the authors assign copyright or license the publication rights in their articles, including abstracts, to Institute for Local Self-Government Maribor. This enables us to ensure full copyright protection and to disseminate the article, and of course Journal, to the widest possible readership in print and electronic formats as appropriate. Authors retain many rights under the Institutes' right policies, which can be found at journal.lex-localis.press. Authors are themselves responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources.