Eastern Economic Journal

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 150–165 | Cite as

Does Associational Behavior Raise Social Capital? A Cross-Country Analysis of Trust

  • Paul Downward
  • Tim Pawlowski
  • Simona Rasciute
Symposium Article


This paper examines the impact that formal and informal associational behavior has on trust, as an indicator of social capital, across 32 countries. Ordinary Least Square regression identifies a weak effect of association with relatives on generalized trust, that sport and civic/political association raises trust, but cultural and religious associations reduce it. A Generalized Methods of Moments analysis reveals the same results for religious and civic/political association, but the impact of cultural association and that with relatives becomes insignificant, while sport association reduces trust. This suggests that countervailing effects from trust are present in these cases.


trust associational behaviour social capital GMM estimation 

JEL Classifications

D60 I31 C25 


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Copyright information

© Eastern Economic Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Downward
    • 1
  • Tim Pawlowski
    • 2
  • Simona Rasciute
    • 1
  1. 1.Loughborough UniversityLeicestershireUK
  2. 2.University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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