Author: Jens Forssbaeck,Lars Oxelheim
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Political Science
In recent years, the term 'transparency' has emerged as one of the most popular and keenly-touted concepts around. In the economic-political debate, the principle of transparency is often advocated as a prerequisite for accountability, legitimacy, policy efficiency, and good governance, as well as a universal remedy against corruption, corporate and political scandals, financial crises, and a host of other problems. But transparency is more than a mere catch-phrase. Increased transparency is a bearing ideal behind regulatory reform in many areas, including financial reporting and banking regulation. Individual governments as well as multilateral bodies have launched broad-based initiatives to enhance transparency in both economic and other policy domains. Parallel to these developments, the concept of transparency has seeped its way into academic research in a wide range of social science disciplines, including the economic sciences. This increased importance of transparency in economics and business studies has called for a reference work that surveys existing research on transparency and explores its meaning and significance in different areas. The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency is such a reference. Comprised of authoritative yet accessible contributions by leading scholars, this Handbook addresses questions such as: What is transparency? What is the rationale for transparency? What are the determinants and the effects of transparency? And is transparency always beneficial, or can it also be detrimental (if so, when)? The chapters are presented in three sections that correspond to three broad themes. The first section addresses transparency in different areas of economic policy. The second section covers institutional transparency and explores the role of transparency in market integration and regulation. Finally, the third section focuses on corporate transparency. Taken together, this volume offers an up-to-date account of existing work on and approaches to transparency in economic research, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research, all from a blend of disciplinary perspectives.