The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Fernandez-i-Marin: The Impact of e-Government Promotion in Europe: Internet Dependence and Critical Mass

This paper has been published as: Xavier Fernández-i-Marín (2011) The Impact of e-Government Promotion in Europe: Internet Dependence and Critical Mass. Policy and Internet 3 (4).

Fernandez-i-Marin, X., Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals

Governments and public bodies have been fostering the development of e-Government services during the last decade. By promoting more and better administrative services through digital channels, many governments have been very active in this process. Its impact, however, has not been fully assessed.
The diusion of e-Government services depends mainly on the Internet rate. But governments have the possibility to invest in more and better government services. The aim of the article is to analyze to which point the government efforts to foster the development of e-Government services is comparable to the dependency of e-Government on the number of Internet users. This should let to establish the reasonable effort in the promotion of e-Government so as to have as many impact as possible on citizenship adoption.

The paper provides evidence of the way in which governments promote the use of e-Government by investing in more and better services. Results show that when Internet users are scarce, policies to foster e-Government adoption will have little impact, although not negligible. But at certain Internet level, focused e-Government policies have a substantial impact on citizens' adoption of the technology. The paper, then, addresses the factors that make public policy more effective.

Data comes from European countries. The cross-sectional dataset has been analyzed using a Bayesian linear model. Bayesian inference allows the researcher to avoid articial assumptions currently done in comparative politics, to present the results in a more natural way, and to design more flexible models.

Xavier Fernandez-i-Marin