IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does trust promote growth?

  • Horváth, Roman

We examine the effect of generalized trust on long-term economic growth. Unlike in previous studies, we use Bayesian model averaging to deal rigorously with model uncertainty and attendant omitted variable bias. In addition, we address endogeneity and assess whether the effect of trust on growth is causal. Examining more than forty regressors for nearly fifty countries, we show that trust exerts a positive effect on long-term growth and, based on the posterior inclusion probabilities, suggest that trust is an important driver of long-term growth. Our results also show that trust is key for growth in countries with a weak rule of law.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 777-788

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:777-788
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. StevenN. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & ChihMing Tan, 2008. "Are Any Growth Theories Robust?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 329-346, 03.
  2. Aghion, Philippe & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Shleifer, Andrei, 2010. "Regulation and Distrust," Scholarly Articles 12490649, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  5. Christian Bjørnskov, 2012. "How Does Social Trust Affect Economic Growth?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1346-1368, April.
  6. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2005. "Trusting the Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 5288, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Robin, 2011. "Trust and the accumulation of physical and human capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 507-519, September.
  8. Koop,Gary & Poirier,Dale J. & Tobias,Justin L., 2007. "Bayesian Econometric Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521855716, October.
  9. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Martin Feldkircher & Stefan Zeugner, 2009. "Benchmark Priors Revisited: On Adaptive Shrinkage and the Supermodel Effect in Bayesian Model Averaging," IMF Working Papers 09/202, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Spolaore, Enrico & Wacziarg, Romain, 2006. "The Diffusion of Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
  13. Klaus Desmet & Michel Breton & Ignacio Ortuño-Ortín & Shlomo Weber, 2011. "The stability and breakup of nations: a quantitative analysis," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 183-213, September.
  14. Oguzhan Dincer & Eric Uslaner, 2007. "Trust and Growth," Working Papers 2007.73, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  15. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange," NBER Working Papers 11005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Koop, Gary & Leon-Gonzalez, Roberto & Strachan, Rodney, 2011. "Bayesian Model Averaging in the Instrumental Variable Regression Model," SIRE Discussion Papers 2011-23, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  17. Winford H. Masanjala & Chris Papageorgiou, 2008. "Rough and lonely road to prosperity: a reexamination of the sources of growth in Africa using Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(5), pages 671-682.
  18. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Gerard Roland, 2011. "Which Dimensions of Culture Matter for Long-Run Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 492-98, May.
  20. Fernandez, Carmen & Ley, Eduardo & Steel, Mark F. J., 2001. "Benchmark priors for Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 381-427, February.
  21. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1251-88 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
  23. Eicher, Theo S. & Papageorgiou, Chris & Roehn, Oliver, 2007. "Unraveling the fortunes of the fortunate: An Iterative Bayesian Model Averaging (IBMA) approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 494-514, September.
  24. Ahlerup, Pelle & Olsson, Ola & Yanagizawa, David, 2007. "Social Capital vs Institutions in the Growth Process," Working Papers in Economics 248, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  25. Eric M. Uslaner, 2008. "The foundations of trust: macro and micro," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 289-294, March.
  26. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-52, December.
  27. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  28. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/432sbils8u9, Sciences Po.
  29. Theo S. Eicher & Chris Papageorgiou & Adrian E. Raftery, 2011. "Default priors and predictive performance in Bayesian model averaging, with application to growth determinants," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 30-55, January/F.
  30. Ley, Eduardo & Steel, Mark F. J., 2007. "On the effect of prior assumptions in Bayesian model averaging with applications to growth regression," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4238, The World Bank.
  31. Berggren, Niclas & Elinder, Mikael & Jordahl, Henrik, 2007. "Trust and Growth: A Shaky Relationship," Working Paper Series 705, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  32. Carmen Fernandez & Eduardo Ley & Mark Steel, 2001. "Model uncertainty in cross-country growth regressions," Econometrics 0110002, EconWPA.
  33. Jellema, Jon & Roland, Gerard, 2011. "Institutional clusters and economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1-2), pages 108-132, June.
  34. Nathan Nunn, 2012. "Culture and the Historical Process," NBER Working Papers 17869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2006. "A note on the theory and measurement of trust in explaining differences in economic growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(3), pages 371-387, May.
  36. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Henri L.F. de Groot & Anton B.T.M. van Schaik, 2004. "Trust and economic growth: a robustness analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 118-134, January.
  37. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  38. Liang, Feng & Paulo, Rui & Molina, German & Clyde, Merlise A. & Berger, Jim O., 2008. "Mixtures of g Priors for Bayesian Variable Selection," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103, pages 410-423, March.
  39. Christian Bjørnskov, 2007. "Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 1-21, January.
  40. Paul F. Whiteley, 2000. "Economic Growth and Social Capital," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 48(3), pages 443-466, 06.
  41. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  42. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Roland, Gérard, 2010. "Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of nations," CEPR Discussion Papers 8013, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  43. Enrique Moral-Benito, 2007. "Determinants Of Economic Growth: A Bayesian Panel Data Approach," Working Papers wp2007_0719, CEMFI.
  44. Özcan, Burcu & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Social trust and human development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 753-762.
  45. Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales & Luigi Guiso, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 11999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Carlin, Bruce Ian & Dorobantu, Florin & Viswanathan, S., 2009. "Public trust, the law, and financial investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 321-341, June.
  47. Shu Yu & Jakob de Haan & Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2011. "Trade, Trust and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 3571, CESifo Group Munich.
  48. Pauline Grosjean, 2011. "The Weight of History on European Cultural Integration: A Gravity Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 504-08, May.
  49. Felix Roth, 2009. "Does Too Much Trust Hamper Economic Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 103-128, 02.
  50. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Kevin, 2009. "Trust and development," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 210-220, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:777-788. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.