Social Indicators Research

, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 669–697 | Cite as

Does Community Level Trust Improve Self-Rated Welfare?

  • Nazim HabibovEmail author
  • Alena Auchynnikava
  • Rong Luo
Original Research


Positive outcomes of community social trust include the generation of new employment opportunities; higher levels of support for public welfare, healthcare, and education; better developed democratic administration, and more effective institutions. These outcomes are in turn believed to facilitate the reduction of poverty. As such, this paper analyses the effects of community-level trust on self-rated welfare. Our hypothesis was that higher levels of community trust would lead to higher welfare. We tested this hypothesis on a diverse sample of 27 post-communist countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union using data from the 2010 and 2016 rounds of the Life-in-Transition survey. Through estimating a series of instrumental variable regressions, we found a significant causal effect of community trust on household welfare in both the total sample and in regional samples. This effect remains robust for: (1) alternative sets of covariates, (2) control for individual-level trust, and (3) an alternative definition of community trust. Thus, the theoretical contribution of this paper is that we have empirically proven that which was assumed by previous studies, namely, that community social trust has a positive causal association with reducing poverty.


Central Asia Caucasus Eastern Europe Southern Europe Subjective wellbeing 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts, Sciences and HumanitiesUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada

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