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Trust, Racial Fragmentation and Income Inequality: New Evidence from the U.S

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  • Andrea Tesei

Abstract

Existing studies of trust formation in U.S. metropolitan areas have found that trust is lower when there is more income inequality and greater racial fragmentation. I add to this literature by examining the role of income inequality between racial groups (racial income inequality). I find that greater racial income inequality reduces trust. Also, racial fragmentation is no longer a significant determinant of trust once racial income inequality is accounted for. This result is consistent with a simple conceptual framework where concurrent differences in race and income are especially detrimental for trust formation. I find empirical support for further implications deriving from this assumption. In particular, I show that racial income inequality has a more detrimental effect in more racially fragmented communities and that trust falls more in minority groups than in the majority group when racial income inequality increases.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2014/wp-cesifo-2014-03/cesifo1_wp4718.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4718.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4718

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
  2. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "Inequality and segregation," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-03, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  3. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950, August.
  4. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bornhorst, Fabian & Ichino, Andrea & Kirchkamp, Oliver & Schlag, Karl & Winter, Eyal, 2010. "Similarities and Differences when Building Trust: the Role of Cultures," CEPR Discussion Papers 7717, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Trust, Inequality and Ethnic Heterogeneity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(258), pages 268-280, 09.
  7. Gustavsson, Magnus & Jordahl, Henrik, 2006. "Inequality and Trust in Sweden: Some Inequalities are More Harmful than Others," Ratio Working Papers 106, The Ratio Institute.
  8. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," MPRA Paper 53325, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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