politica comparada

How the exercise of the right to information (RTI) affects trust in political institutions



Various countries throughout the world have enacted transparency reforms, especially reforms oriented toward increasing access to government information (right to information, RTI). While researchers have published thorough examinations of the impact of such reforms, no study to date has surveyed how the successful exercise of this RTI affects institutional trust. Using a field experiment in Chile, Peru, and Uruguay to elicit information requests, we identify the effect of the successful exercise of RTI on individuals' trust in and perceptions of the transparency of institutions in these countries. Our findings indicate a need to differentiate between how the successful exercise of RTI affects individuals' trust in a specific institution— and especially their perception of its transparency—and how it affects trust in and perceived transparency of governmental institutions in general.


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