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The Effects of E-Government on Trust and Confidence in Government

Caroline J. Tolbert and Karen Mossberger
Public Administration Review
Vol. 66, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2006), pp. 354-369
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public Administration
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3843917
Page Count: 16
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The Effects of E-Government on Trust and Confidence in Government
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Abstract

Trust in government has been declining for more than three decades now. E-government has been proposed as a way to increase citizen trust in government and improve citizen evaluations of government generally. Using two-stage models to analyze recent Pew survey data, this research explores the relationship between e-government use, attitudes about e-government, and trust in government. There is a statistically significant relationship between trust and use of a local government Web site, as well as other positive assessments of federal and local governments. The evidence suggests that e-government can increase process-based trust by improving interactions with citizens and perceptions of responsiveness. The findings are theoretically important for reconciling the conflicting research on the effects of e-government and for understanding variations by level of government. Citizen attitudes toward government, including trust, are core concerns for democratic governance and public administration.

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