Explaining Cross-National Variation in Government Technology Adoption
Bussell, Jennifer. Explaining Cross-National Variation in Government Technology Adoption, 2011 in International Studies Quarterly 55(1): 267-280.
New information and communication technologies provide governments with opportunities to deliver public services more effectively to their citizens. But we know little about the reasons for variation in the adoption of these technologies across countries. Using cross-national data on government use of information technologies to reform public service delivery, or eGovernment, I argue that politicians’ expectations about the effects of more transparent service delivery on established patterns of rent seeking play an important role in shaping variation in the character of reforms. I show that the level of pre-existing corruption in a country is a robust predictor of eGovernment outcomes, with more corrupt governments less likely than their less corrupt peers to implement high quality public service reforms using information technology. This finding contrasts with those analyses that emphasize the role of economic conditions or regime type in explaining technological diffusion.