Can open data increase younger generations’ trust in democratic institutions? A study in the European Union

Abstract:  Scholars and policy makers are giving increasing attention to how young people are involved in politics and their confidence in the current democratic system. In a context of a global trust crisis in the European Union, this paper examines if open government data, a promising governance strategy, may help to boost Millennials’ and Generation Z trust in public institutions and satisfaction with public outcomes. First, results from our preliminary analysis challenge some popular beliefs by revealing that younger generations tend to trust in their institutions notably more than the rest of the European citizens. In addition, our findings show that open government data is a trust-enabler for Millennials and Generation Z, not only through a direct link between both, but also thanks to the mediator role of citizens’ satisfaction. Accordingly, public officers are encouraged to spread the implementation of open data strategies as a way to improve younger generations’ attachment to democratic institutions.