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Living under the ‘right’ government: does political ideology matter to trust in political institutions? An analysis for OECD countries

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  • Fischer, Justina

Abstract

This paper asks whether trust in political institutions depends on individual’s political leaning and the political ideology of the national government. We employ information on 140'000 individuals in 30 democratic OECD countries from the World Values Survey, 1981 – 2007, and estimate so-called micro-based pseudo-panel two-way fixed effects models. Distinguishing between extreme and moderate versions of leftist and rightist political leaning, our estimates reveal that political trust increases non-linearly in the degree of individual’s conservatism. We also find that political leaning is not instrumental to improving one's own socio-economic situation, thus rather constituting an expressive behavior. If government ideology matches individual’s political preferences, trust in political institutions is increased. In contrast, the ‘apolitical’ appears to distrust the political system as such. We also find evidence for a symmetric, but incomplete convergence of party ideologies to the median voter position. Implications for vote abstention are discussed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33344.

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Date of creation: 12 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33344

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Keywords: political trust; government ideology; political leaning; World Values Survey;

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  1. Justina A. V. Fischer, 2010. "Stuttgart 21: mit direkter Demokratie aus der Sackgasse?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(51/52), pages 19-25.
  2. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
  3. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-63, June.
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  5. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  6. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2009. "Government decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? An empirical analysis," Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim 313/2009, Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany.
  7. Sascha O. Becker & Katrin Boeckh & Christa Hainz & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "The Empire is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Long-Run Persistence of Trust and Corruption in the Bureaucracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3392, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2008. "Formal Institutions and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Cross-Country Evidence," KOF Working papers 08-192, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  9. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  11. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
  12. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2006. "The Effect of Direct Democracy on Income Redistribution:Evidence for Switzerland," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  13. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
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  15. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
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  17. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1542-1565, 04.
  18. repec:cge:warwcg:40 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Evans, Peter, 1996. "Government action, social capital and development: Reviewing the evidence on synergy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1119-1132, June.
  20. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  21. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  22. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "The U-Shape without Controls," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 896, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  23. Justina A.V. Fischer, 2009. "Happiness and Age Cycles - Return to Start...?: On the Functional Relationship between Subjective Well-Being and Age," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 99, OECD Publishing.
  24. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Sabatini, 2012. "Who Trusts B erlusconi? An Econometric Analysis of the Role of Television in the Political Arena," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 111-131, 02.

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