Year of Publication

2011

College

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Available

8-14-2014

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

With the prevalence of internet technologies and e-commerce, citizens’ expectations for online e-government services are growing. Numerous studies have been conducted on the worldwide adoption and sophistication of national governments’ e-government websites and state websites in the United States, but previous studies of local governments have been limited to looking at nationwide samples of the largest cities. By presenting a statewide analysis of all Kentucky city websites, I expect that my findings will provide valuable information about how cities of all sizes are using web-technologies to provide services to their citizens. I examine which types of cities, organized along several demographic variables, have implemented websites of any kind, and which of these cities have invested in sophisticated websites that enable two-way communication and facilitate online transactions.

The findings show that less than 35% of Kentucky cities have websites at this time. Cities with websites have, on average, larger populations. The cities with websites also have lower median ages; lower percentages of whites, English-only speakers, home ownership, and registered Democrats; and higher city revenues and per capita revenues. Cities with even larger populations and city revenues to provide more sophisticated websites through online communication and transaction capabilities than smaller cities that provide basic websites. Lack of Internet connectivity in smaller cities also impedes the ability of citizens to use on-line services.

Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to determine the effect of several demographic characteristics on e-government adoption and sophistication for Kentucky cities. Not surprisingly, statistically significant indicators for both adoption and sophistication include the city manager and mayor-council forms of government, internet availability, median age, and per capita revenue. City population was a significant indicator only for sophistication. More surprisingly, holding all other variables constant, the proportion of registered voters who are Democrats was found to have substantial impacts on both adoption and sophistication. Previous literature does little to address why this may be so.

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