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What determines trust in international organizations? An empirical analysis for the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO

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  • Hessami, Zohal

Abstract

So far no existing study has analyzed what determines people’s trust in the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO even though – in the absence of democratic accountability – this is one of the few ways to assess the legitimacy of these institutions. This study is intended to fill this gap in the literature based on Eurobarometer survey data from the EU-15 countries. The estimation results suggest that individual characteristics (gender, international background, formal education level, personal income, ideological preferences, interest in politics, and exposure to media) as well as the extent of globalization influence trust in the three international organizations. The state of the economy only has a significant effect on trust in the WTO. Moreover, respondents’ attitudes towards globalization have a bearing on trust in all three international organizations. Survey items on individual knowledge and perceptions of the WTO allow us to test additional hypotheses that apply to this institution alone. We find that familiarity with the WTO fosters trust. Finally, beliefs that the EU is well-represented in the WTO, that the WTO has a good reputation and that it is a democratic and necessary institution increases repondents’ propensity to trust the WTO.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34550.

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Date of creation: 29 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34550

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Keywords: Institutional trust; International economic organizations; Globalization; International Monetary Fund; World Bank; World Trade Organization;

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Cited by:
  1. 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, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung) 201347, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. 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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