It’s not merely about the content: How rules are communicated matters to administrative burden

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Research suggests that citizens often abstain from taking up benefits for which they are eligible because of the costs of learning about how to apply for and the compliance and psychological costs associated with taking up benefits. But to what extent can such burdens be altered simply by changing the way rules are communicated? Bridging literatures on administrative burden, communication theory, and cognitive psychology, we theorize and test the causal impact (using a pre-registered randomized survey experiment (N = 2243)) of two prominent aspects of rule communication: information structure and bureaucratic language. Our findings lend support to the expectation that bureaucratic language influences citizens' learning costs as well as their compliance – and to a lesser extent psychological – costs, even when the content of the rules communicated is the same.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration Review
ISSN0033-3352
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'It’s not merely about the content: How rules are communicated matters to administrative burden'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this