The study Show Us the Stimulus (July 2009, Good Jobs First) is one of the most comprehensive and systematic assessments of US state “recovery” websites. The authors of the report analyze the effectiveness and transparency of state websites in providing information on the different categories of stimulus spending, the allocation of funds across different areas of the state, and individual projects carried out by private contractors and their respective impact on employment levels.
The study shows that, while some websites achieve satisfactory levels of transparency, others are largely failing to provide online transparency with regard to the use of crisis response funds. Such variance among the websites per se is not particularly surprising. But why do some states perform better than others? Are there any factors that can help to explain these differences?