The effects of E-government on trust and confidence in government

Caroline J. Tolbert, Karen Mossberger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

725 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-369
Number of pages16
JournalPublic administration review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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