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

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  • Benno Torgler

    ()
    (QUT)

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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 School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 213.

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    Length: 40
    Date of creation: 03 Apr 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:213

    Note: The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia, and CREMA – Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Switzerland, email: benno.torgler@qut.edu.au.
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    Postal: GPO Box 2434, BRISBANE QLD 4001
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    Web page: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/faculty/economics/
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    Keywords: International Organizations; United Nations; International Trust; Political Trust;

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    1. Axel Dreher, 2005. "Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a new Index of Globalization," TWI Research Paper Series 6, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Axel Dreher & Friedrich Schneider, 2006. "Corruption and the Shadow Economy: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 1653, CESifo Group Munich.
    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. Benno Torgler & Markus Schaffner & Alison Macintyre, 2007. "Tax Compliance, Tax Morale, and Governance Quality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0727, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    7. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    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. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
    12. 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.
    13. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
    14. Levin, Mark & Satarov, Georgy, 2000. "Corruption and institutions in Russia," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 113-132, March.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    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. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
    19. 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.
    20. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Justina A.V. Fischer & Frank Somogyi, 2009. "Globalization and Protection of Employment," KOF Working papers 09-238, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    2. Benno Torgler & Maria A. Garcia-Valinas & Alison Macintyre, 2008. "Environmental Participation and Environmental Motivation," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 238, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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).
    10. 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.
    11. 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.

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