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Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations

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  • Benno Torgler

    (Queensland University of Technology)

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    Abstract

    The literature on social capital has strongly increased in the last two decades, but there still is a lack of substantial empirical evidence about the determinants of international trust. This empirical study analyses a cross-section of individuals, using micro-data from the World Values Survey, covering 38 countries, to investigate trust in international organizations, specifically in the United Nations. In line with previous studies on international trust we find that political trust matters. We also find that social trust is relevant, but contrary to previous studies the results are less robust. Moreover, the paper goes beyond previous studies investigating also the impact of geographic identification, corruption and globalization. We find that a higher level of (perceived) corruption reduces the trust in the UN in developed countries, but increases trust in developing and transition countries. A stronger identification with the world as a whole also leads to a higher trust in the UN and a stronger capacity to act globally in economic and political environment increases trust in the UN.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2007.45.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2007.45

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    Keywords: International Organizations; United Nations; International Trust; Political Trust; Social Trust; Corruption; Globalization;

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    1. Alastair R. Hall & Glenn D. Rudebusch & David W. Wilcox, 1994. "Judging instrument relevance in instrumental variables estimation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-3, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Robert J. Barro & Rachel M. McCleary, 2002. "Religion and Political Economy in an International Panel," NBER Working Papers 8931, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L. & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-79, April.
    6. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    7. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Social capital and the quality of Government : evidence from the U.S. States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2504, The World Bank.
    8. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
    10. Gary M. Anderson and Robert U. Tollison, 1992. "Morality and Monopoly: The Constitutional Political Economy of Religious Rules," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 12(2), pages 373-392, Fall.
    11. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
    12. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2006. "Corruption and the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Schaltegger, Christoph & Torgler, Benno, 2006. "Government Accountability and Fiscal Discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt1jc275p2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    14. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    15. Torgler, Benno & Garcia-Valinas, Maria A., 2007. "The determinants of individuals' attitudes towards preventing environmental damage," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2-3), pages 536-552, August.
    16. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    17. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
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    Cited by:
    1. Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L. & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Benno Torgler & María A.García-Valiñas & Alison Macintyre, 2008. "Differences in Preferences Towards the Environment: The Impact of a Gender, Age and Parental Effect," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 227, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    3. Fischer, Justina AV & Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 695, Stockholm School of Economics.
    4. Fischer, Justina A.V. & Somogyi, Frank, 2012. "Globalization and protection of employment," MPRA Paper 39426, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Torgler, Benno & García-Valiñas, María A. & Macintyre, Alison, 2009. "Environmental Participation and Environmental Motivation," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt5hx0f0c2, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    6. Breen, Michael & Gillanders, Robert, 2013. "Political Trust, Corruption and Ratings of the IMF and the World Bank," MPRA Paper 51535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Zohal Hessami, 2011. "What Determines Trust in International Organizations?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-44, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    8. Bernd Hayo & Edith Neuenkirch, 2013. "The German Public and its Trust in the ECB: The Role of Knowledge and Information Search," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201347, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Hessami, Zohal, 2011. "What determines trust in international organizations? An empirical analysis for the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO," MPRA Paper 34550, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tana Johnson, 2011. "Guilt by association: The link between states’ influence and the legitimacy of intergovernmental organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 57-84, March.
    11. García-Valiñas, María A. & Macintyre, Alison & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Volunteering, pro-environmental attitudes and norms," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 455-467.

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