Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison

Abstract

The paper explores the determinants of generalized trust across countries. The findings suggest that only few variables can be considered significant. Social polarization in the form of income inequality and ethnic diversity reduces trust, Protestantism and having a monarchy increases trust while post-communist societies are less trusting than other. The findings also provide support for the use of a standard indicator as a stable measure of generalized trust and emphasize the importance of taking endogeneity seriously.

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Correspondence to Christian Bjørnskov.

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JEL Code D31, Z13

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Bjørnskov, C. Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison. Public Choice 130, 1–21 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-006-9069-1

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Keywords

  • Trust
  • Inequality