Inequality and Trust: Testing a Mediating Relationship for Environmental Sustainability
Instrumental arguments linking inequality to environmental sustainability often suppose a negative relationship between inequality and social cohesion. While social cohesion is difficult to measure, there are measures of a narrower concept, social trust, and empirical studies have shown that social trust is negatively related to inequality. In this paper we test whether at least part of the observed relationship may be explained by income level, rather than income distribution. We use individual response data from the World Values Survey at the income decile level, and find evidence that income level is indeed important in explaining differences in levels of social trust, but it is insufficient to explain all of the dependence. In the sample used for the study, we find that both income level and income distribution help explain differences in social trust between countries.
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.:
- Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey D. Milyo, 2001. "Income inequality and health," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 151-155.
- James K. Boyce, 2004. "Green and Brown? Globalization and the Environment," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
- Wilkinson, Richard G & Pickett, Kate E., 2006. "Income inequality and population health: A review and explanation of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1768-1784, April.
- James K. Boyce, 2004. "Green and Brown? Globalization and the Environment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 105-128, Spring.
- Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne, 2012. "Testing The Pearl Hypothesis: Natural resources and trust," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 358-367.
- repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2006:i:4:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
- Wilkinson, Richard G. & Pickett, Kate E., 2007. "The problems of relative deprivation: Why some societies do better than others," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(9), pages 1965-1978, November.
- Jen, Min Hua & Jones, Kelvyn & Johnston, Ron, 2009. "Global variations in health: Evaluating Wilkinson's income inequality hypothesis using the World Values Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 643-653, February.
- Frederick Solt, 2009. "Standardizing the World Income Inequality Database," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(2), pages 231-242.
- Heerink, Nico & Mulatu, Abay & Bulte, Erwin, 2001. "Income inequality and the environment: aggregation bias in environmental Kuznets curves," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 359-367, September.
- James Boyce, 2004. "Green and Brown? Globalization and the Environment," Working Papers wp78, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
- Jordahl, Henrik, 2007. "Inequality and Trust," Working Paper Series 715, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2006. "The Effect of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(4), pages 1-20.
- Rudd, Murray A., 2000. "Live long and prosper: collective action, social capital and social vision," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 131-144, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:779-788:d:23716. 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: (XML Conversion Team)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.