A big thank you to Stephan Grimmelikhuijsen for sending me two copies of his book overseas: Transparency and trust: an experimental study of online disclosure and trust in government. You can download a version of it (dissertation) here.
Stephan’s work is, in my opinion, extremely important reading for those working in the field of transparency and accountability.
As it turns out, whether we like it or not, claims that transparency leads to more trust are not supported by the existing evidence. Still not convinced? Read a short review of the evidence here.
We agree with Stephan’s conclusions 100%. Indeed, in our work at Harvard we are finding that legislative transparency actually increases corruption, partisanship and results in things like increased inequality and incarceration. You can search for our work by looking for “Cardboard Box Reform” or “Legislative Reorganization Act”