Does E-Government Raise Effectiveness and Efficiency?: Examining the Cross-National Effect

Does E-Government Raise Effectiveness and Efficiency?: Examining the Cross-National Effect

Taewoo Nam (Graduate School of Governance, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/JGIM.2019070107

Abstract

This article examines the influence of e-government maturity on government effectiveness and efficiency with a cross-country view. To that end, it uses two-stage least square regression, considering the endogeneity of e-government. The regression-based analysis on various global indicators finds that e-government significantly contributes to enhancing government effectiveness but fails to substantially raise government efficiency. Political, economic, and cultural disparities across countries affect the variation in the impact of e-government on government effectiveness and efficiency. The level of democracy has a curvilinear relationship with government efficiency, and thus this study identifies non-democracies with well-performing governments.
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Introduction

The commonly-used definition of e-government connotes its expected effects. E-government refers to “the use of information and communication technology and its application by the government for the provision of information and basic public services to the people,” and its four goals, among others, are of vital importance and of relevance: “efficient government management of information to the citizens”; “better service delivery to citizens”; “improved access and outreach of information”; and “empowerment of the people through participatory decision making” (United Nations, 2004: 15). Therefore, e-government has been considered a key driver to boost government effectiveness and efficiency.

Nevertheless, little research has shed light on the global impact of e-government on effectiveness and efficiency. An array of empirical studies has investigated whether e-government leads to its promised results, but the studies have rarely paid close attention to its performance in terms of effectiveness and efficiency with a cross-national view. Motivated by this paucity in the relevant research, this study raises a research question—“Does e-government maturity contribute to increasing the level of government effectiveness and efficiency across countries?”—and, to answer the question, examines the extent to which countries actualize what e-government promises for greater effectiveness and efficiency. To that end, the study employs diverse global-scale indicators.

This article is structured into six sections, including the foregoing introduction. The second section discusses theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence. The third section describes the data, measures, and empirical strategy. The fourth section reports the results of the analysis in detail, and then the fifth section addresses the theoretical implications, practical suggestions, and research limitations for further discussion. The final section concludes this article.

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