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

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  • Benno Torgler
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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 Institute of Local Public Finance in its series Working Papers with number 05-2007.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:lpf:wpaper:05-2007

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    Web page: http://www.ilpf.de/

    Related research

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

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    References

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    1. 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.
    2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    3. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "The Quality of Government," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1847, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Corruption and the shadow economy: an empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 215-238, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    7. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Government accountability and fiscal discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 117-140, February.
    8. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Alison Macintyre, 2007. "Tax Compliance, Tax Morale and Governance Quality," CREMA Working Paper Series 2007-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    9. Benno Torgler & Maria A. Garcia-Valiñas, 2005. "The Determinants of Individuals’ Attitudes Towards Preventing Environmental Damage," Working Papers 2005.110, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. 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.).
    11. 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.
    12. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    13. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    14. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    15. Axel Dreher, 2005. "Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a new Index of Globalization," TWI Research Paper Series 6, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    16. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    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.
    18. Paul R. Brewer & Sean Aday & Kimberly Gross, 2005. "Do Americans Trust Other Nations? A Panel Study," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(1), pages 36-51.
    19. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
    20. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    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. 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).
    7. 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.
    8. Fischer, Justina AV & Somogyi, Frank, 2009. "Globalization and Protection of Employment," MPRA Paper 17535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Justina Fischer & Volker Hahn, 2008. "Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank," TWI Research Paper Series 26, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    11. 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.

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