The Effect of Government Responsiveness on Future Political Participation
33 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 26, 2015
What effect does government responsiveness have on political participation? Since the 1940s political scientists have used attitudinal measures of perceived efficacy to explain participation. More recent work has focused on underlying genetic factors that condition citizen engagement. We develop a ‘Calculus of Participation’ that incorporates objective efficacy – the extent to which an individual’s participation actually has an impact – and test the model against behavioral data from FixMyStreet.com (n=399,364). We find that a successful first experience using FixMyStreet.com (e.g., reporting a pothole and having it fixed) is associated with a 54 percent increase in the probability of an individual submit-ting a second report. We also show that the experience of government responsiveness to the first report submitted has predictive power over all future report submissions. The findings highlight the importance of government responsiveness for fostering an active citizenry, while demonstrating the value of incidentally collected data to examine participatory behavior at the individual level.
Keywords: Government Responsiveness, Participation, Fix My Street, ICT, Crowdsourcing
JEL Classification: P16, H76, H54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation