Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

The Social Science Journal


There is an information gap between citizens and their governments when it comes to government finances. The inherent complexity of fiscal policy makes it exceedingly difficult for effective public participation. Effective public participation in fiscal decision making must address informing or educating the citizenry with accurate and meaningful government financial data. Better understanding citizen wants and perceptions is critical to closing the information gap between users and providers of financial information. This study uses information gathered from focus groups with residents of Norfolk, Virginia that asks what government financial information they want and how to make that information useful. Results suggest that citizens are interested in some types of information over others and that such information must be timely, made relevant and contextualized.


NOTE: This is the authors' pre-print version of a work that was published in The Social Science Journal. The in-press version is published as:

Jordan, M., Yusuf, J.-E., Mayer, M., & Mahar, K. (2016). What citizens want to know about their government's finances: Closing the information gap. The Social Science Journal. doi: 10.1016/j.soscij.2016.04.007


00000-0003-3599-1417 (Yusuf)