Watching participatory budgeting events or attending them produce different distributive outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The study examines the impact of presence, synchronicity of exposure and other variables on allocative decisions reached following a participatory budgeting event. Design/methodology/approach: The study analyzes the distributive decisions reached following a participatory budgeting event, which took place in an academic institution, and students were asked to determine the distribution of a portion of the student union budget. Some students viewed the event live (physically or remotely), while others watched it in delay. Findings: The main variable affecting allocative decisions was whether decision-makers were exposed to the event physically or remotely. There was a significant and large difference between allocation decisions of participants who were physically present at the event and those who were exposed to it remotely. Practical implications: The discussion elaborates on the implications of the findings for the importance of presence and media selection in public engagement events. Originality/value: Public engagement events are becoming widespread, with the Internet being a major tool in their administration. This study demonstrates that using the Internet to make such events accessible to the non-physically present can create significant changes in decisions reached by participants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-255
Number of pages12
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Mar 2022


  • Deliberation
  • Internet
  • Participation
  • Presence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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