Can Transparency Foster More Understanding and Compliant Citizens?

Gregory A. Porumbescu, Meghan I.H. Lindeman, Erica Ceka, Maria Cucciniello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Voluntary policy compliance is an important yet rarely studied topic in public administration. To address the paucity of research, this article proposes and empirically tests a conceptual framework that ties policy transparency and policy understanding to voluntary policy compliance intentions. The reasoning is that the extent to which citizens understand a policy contributes to their intentions to comply with that policy. Further, the authors argue that policy transparency indirectly influences voluntary policy compliance intentions through a positive effect on citizens’ levels of policy understanding. To enhance the validity of the findings, the authors assess these relationships across two policy domains. The findings reflect an indirect positive effect of transparency on voluntary compliance occurring through policy understanding. However, this emerged only for one policy domain. These results suggest that the effects of policy transparency on policy understanding and voluntary policy compliance intentions may depend on the policy domain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-850
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2014S1A3A2044898). Gregory Porumbescu would like to thank Andrew Whitford, Kurt Thurmaier, and Sebastian Jilke for the comments on earlier drafts.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by The American Society for Public Administration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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