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During the first half of the 20th century, public administration developed a normative theory of public reporting. It called on government managers to contribute to an informed citizenry through regular reports to the public, especially annual reports. However, in the only known instance when this theory was subjected to comparative empirical research, a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, conducted some methodologically credible experiments during the early 1940s. Her results demonstrated the ineffectiveness of annual reports. However, rather than adjusting to accommodate this empirical information, leading organizations ignored them and continued pushing for annual reports. With the test results never published in an academic journal and the student's dissertation left incomplete, they were soon lost and forgotten. Public administration's interest in public reporting declined during the second half of the 20th century, perhaps because of the lack of an empirically based approach.