Administrative Burden in Digital Self-Service: An Empirical Study About Citizens in Need of Financial Assistance

Ida Heggertveit, Ida Lindgren, Christian Østergaard Madsen, Sara Hofmann

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to investigate what challenges arise for
vulnerable citizens when welfare service provision is digitalized. We analyze the
challenges citizens experience in the application process using the theoretical
concept of administrative burden., i.e., learning-, compliance-, and psychological costs imposed on the citizen by policy implementation. The financial assistance service provided by the Norwegian Labor and Welfare Administration (NAV) is our empirical example. Our results show that digitalizing financial assistance creates new administrative burdens for vulnerable citizens. While frontline workers offer important help to citizens in the application process, they can also impose additional burdens on the citizen. Our study contributes with empirically grounded insights on the administrative burdens related to digital self-service, which causes citizens to turn to frontline workers for support. We offer a theoretical contribution by linking digitalization and administrative burden.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectronic Participation : Lecture Notes in Computer Science
EditorsRobert Krimmer
Number of pages15
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-23212-1
ISBN (Electronic)1611-3349
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventInternational conference on electronic government - Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden
Duration: 6 Sept 20228 Sept 2022


ConferenceInternational conference on electronic government
LocationLinköping University
Internet address


  • Digital self-service
  • Administrative burden
  • Executive functioning
  • Financial scarcity
  • Digital divide


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