| 2022-2025

Does performance reporting of public performance strengthen the trust and voice of citizens? An experimental study.


In the last decades, rankings and performance information have found their way to all corners of the public sector. Recent Belgian examples are hospital quality indicators and plans for standardised testing in schools. The fascination of society for the COVID-19 indicators also attests to the appeal of performance indicators. Less is known on how citizens use performance information and the effects of information on trust in government and citizens' willingness to raise their voice. This project, therefore, asks how different kinds of performance information are used by citizens and to what effect on voice and trust. We propose two extensive experiments to answer this question. In the first experiment, we design an online budget game to trigger active use of performance information. This experiment will be performed on a large sample in an online panel. The second experiment partly replicates the first but will use an eye tracker to have in-depth insights on how people process information. The results of the study will inform the debate on the desirability and design of performance reporting systems.


  • FWO Senior research project fundamental research

Project team