University of Oulu

Brunnschweiler, C., Edjekumhene, I., & Lujala, P. (2021). Does information matter? Transparency and demand for accountability in Ghana’s natural resource revenue management. Ecological Economics, 181, 106903.

Does information matter? : transparency and demand for accountability in Ghana’s natural resource revenue management

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Author: Brunnschweiler, Christa1; Edjekumhene, Ishmael2; Lujala, Päivi3,4
Organizations: 1School of Economics, University of East Anglia (UEA), NR4 7TJ Norwich, UK
2Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE), P. O. Box AT 720, Achimota Market, Ghana
3Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
4Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-11-20


Transparency in resource revenue management is seen as an important strategy to avoid misuse and misappropriation. Theory predicts that transparency will allow citizens to gain information on revenue management; better informed citizens in turn will enter the debate on resource governance issues, voice concerns, and demand improved accountability if necessary. However, there is little micro-level evidence on how transparency policies relate to better citizen knowledge, or to differences in attitudes towards revenue management and in demand for accountability. We analyze data from a unique survey of over 3500 Ghanaian citizens to understand how Ghana’s extractive sector transparency measures are linked to citizens’ knowledge, rights perception, satisfaction levels, and behavior regarding resource revenue management. Our results suggest that information levels among citizens are quite poor; however, there is a strong sense of citizens’ right to benefit from resource revenues. Satisfaction with the status quo is very low; yet, few respondents have sought more information, or even discussed resource revenue management with friends or family. The results also hold for elected representatives, who should be best placed to influence resource governance. The findings imply that the transparency discourse hinges on false assumptions of the effects of information in resource revenue management.

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Series: Ecological economics. The transdisciplinary journal of the International Society for Ecological Economics
ISSN: 0921-8009
ISSN-E: 1873-6106
ISSN-L: 0921-8009
Volume: 181
Article number: 106903
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106903
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 519 Social and economic geography
Funding: This work was supported by 3ie (grant TW8R2.1002), the Research Council of Norway (grant no. 231757) and the Academy of Finland (grant nos. 309206 and 322097).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 309206
Detailed Information: 309206 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
322097 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license