Education and Life Satisfaction in Relation to the Probability of Social Trust: a Conceptual Framework and Empirical Analysis
- 633 Downloads
We employ cross-sectional microdata from 2010 through 2012 collected by the Italian National Institute of Statistics to investigate the proposed conceptual framework regarding the joint relationship between education, life satisfaction and the probability of social trust. The analysis has been carried out using two alternative specifications of the logit model: parametric and semiparametric. Our findings suggest that (a) both modelling methods that we utilise yield consistent results in terms of the positive effects of education and life satisfaction on social trust; (b) for unsatisfied individuals, social trust is generally low and largely unresponsive to the individual’s education level, whereas for ‘sufficiently satisfied’ individuals, social trust increases strongly with education; (c) there are some gender differences in the joint relationship between education, life satisfaction and social trust and (d) the parametric approach tends to mask some interesting patterns that are captured by the semiparametric specification. This finding implies that the parametric approach leads to a biased interpretation of the results, with an apparent failure of some of the assumptions made in the conceptual framework.
KeywordsGeneralised additive model Generalised linear model Education Life satisfaction Social trust
JEL ClassificationC25 D01 I20 I30
We would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for many suggestions that have helped to improve the presentation and quality of the article. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect those of the institution of affiliation.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Buetell, N. (2006). Life satisfaction, a Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia entry. Retrieved May 10, 2007, from the Sloan Work and Family Research Network website: https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/glossary/l/life-satisfaction-definition.
- Eurofound. (2012). Third European quality of life survey–Quality of life in Europe: Impacts of the crisis. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.Google Scholar
- Fukuyama, F. (1995). Trust: The social virtues and the creation of prosperity. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Garrouste, C. (2011). 100 Years of educational reforms in Europe: A contextual database. MPRA Paper No. 31853.Google Scholar
- Greene, W. H. (2012). Econometric analysis (7th ed.). New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Hardin, R. (2002). Trust and trustworthiness. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
- Hastie, T., & Tibshirani, R. (1990). Generalized additive models. London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
- Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (1995). Economic growth and social capital in Italy. Eastern Economic Journal, 21, 295–307.Google Scholar
- ISTAT (2013). Noi Italia: Deprivation synthetic index. http://noi-italia2013en.istat.it/. Accessed December 27, 2013.
- Marsh, S. (1994). Optimism and pessimism in trust. In Proceedings of the Ibero-American conference on artificial intelligence (IBERAMIA 1994). McGraw-Hill Publishing.Google Scholar
- Misztal, B. (1996). Trust in modern societies: The search for the bases of social order. New York: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Mohd Arif, L.-S., Rahim Khan, F., & Idid, S. A. (2012). Explaining social capital: A study of the effects of satisfaction with life on social capital. International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 42, 181–185.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D. (1996). The strange disappearance of civic America. The American Prospect, 34–48.Google Scholar
- Putnam, R. D., Leonardi, R., & Nanetti, R. Y. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Political science. Washington, DC: Association of American Publishers.Google Scholar
- Strassle, C. G., McKee, E. A., & Plant, D. D. (1999). Optimism as an indicator of psychological health: Using psychological assessment wisely. Journal of Personality Assessment, 72, 265–276.Google Scholar
- Van Deth, J., Maraffi, M., Newton, K., & Whiteley, P. (1999). Social capital and European democracy. London: Rutledge.Google Scholar
- Wood, S. N. (2006). Generalized additive models: An introduction with R. London: Chapman & Hall.Google Scholar
- Wood, S. N. (2015). Mixed GAM computation vehicle with GCV/AIC/REML smoothness estimation. Software R, Package: mgcv 1.8-11Google Scholar