Does information matter? Transparency and demand for accountability in Ghana's natural resource revenue management

Brunnschweiler, Christa ORCID:, Edjekumhene, Ishmael and Lujala, Päivi (2021) Does information matter? Transparency and demand for accountability in Ghana's natural resource revenue management. Ecological Economics, 181. ISSN 0921-8009

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Transparency in resource revenue management is seen as an important strategy to avoid misuse and misappropriation. Theory predicts that transparency will allow citizens to gain information on revenue management; better informed citizens in turn will enter the debate on national resource governance issues, voice concerns, and demand improved accountability if necessary. However, there is little micro-level evidence on how transparency policies relate to better citizen knowledge, or to differences in attitudes towards revenue management and in demand for accountability. We analyze data from a unique survey of over 3500 Ghanaian citizens to understand how Ghana’s extractive sector transparency measures are linked to citizens’ knowledge, rights perception, satisfaction levels, and behavior regarding resource revenue management. Our results suggest that information levels among citizens are quite poor; however, there is a strong sense of citizens’ right to benefit from resource revenues. Satisfaction with the status quo is very low; yet, few respondents have sought more information, or even discussed resource revenue management with friends or family. The results also hold for elected representatives, who should be best placed to influence resource governance. The findings imply that the transparency discourse hinges on false assumptions of the effects of information in resource revenue management.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: accountability,ghana,natural resources,petroleum,survey data,transparency,environmental science(all),economics and econometrics ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Economics
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2020 01:07
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 07:23
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106903

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