This research investigates whether political, social, and economic characteristics of local communities are related tso data sharing between city departments and businesses and nonprofit organizations. Research about data sharing typically emphasizes managerial, organizational, and technological factors in departments, largely neglecting community characteristics. The willingness to share data depends on the relationships between the government and external stakeholders, and these relationships are shaped by the political, social and economic characteristics of local communities. Using data from a 2016‐survey of 2,500 department heads in 500 US cities with populations between 25,000 and 250,000, we find that data sharing increases in cities where communities are politically engaged, hold Democratic preferences, and there are higher rates of public sector employment and economic inequality. Data sharing is less likely to occur in communities with higher education and more nonprofit associations.
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