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Does social distrust always lead to a stronger support for government intervention?

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  • Hans Pitlik

    ()

  • Ludek Kouba

    ()

Abstract

The paper considers ‘trust’ as an empirical determinant of individual support for government intervention. The central notion is that the influence of generalized trust on policy attitudes is conditional on confidence in both state actors and major companies. The starting point is the idea that individuals who generally distrust other persons have a stronger taste for the regulation of economic activities, while people with high interpersonal trust are in favor of less stringent regulatory control. Yet, people who do not trust unknown others also tend to mistrust government and private companies. If mistrust in state actors dominates, we should not necessarily expect stronger interventionist preferences. Estimating the determinants of interventionist attitudes using data from the World Values Survey/European Values Study for approximately 130,000 individuals in forty OECD- and EU-countries, we find evidence that the impact of social trust on government intervention attitudes is conditional on institutional trust. Confidence in major companies appears to have a stronger effect on preference formation than trust in state actors. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Pitlik & Ludek Kouba, 2015. "Does social distrust always lead to a stronger support for government intervention?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 355-377, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:163:y:2015:i:3:p:355-377
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-015-0258-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:poleco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:56-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Nikolaev, Boris & Boudreaux, Christopher & Salahodjaev, Rauf, 2017. "Are individualistic societies less equal? Evidence from the parasite stress theory of values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 30-49.
    3. Polyachenko Sergiy, 2016. "Do changes in social and economic characteristics affect attitude towards price control?," EERC Working Paper Series 16/05e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    4. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov, 2017. "The Market‐Promoting and Market‐Preserving Role of Social Trust in Reforms of Policies and Institutions," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(1), pages 3-25, July.
    5. repec:cup:jinsec:v:13:y:2017:i:03:p:575-598_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. R. Menyashev., 2014. "Social Capital and the Demand for Regulation in Russia," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 4.
    7. repec:voj:journl:v:64:y:2017:i:4:p:383-400 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Leibrecht, Markus & Pitlik, Hans, 2015. "Social trust, institutional and political constraints on the executive and deregulation of markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 249-268.
    9. Ludek Kouba & Hans Pitlik, 2014. "I wanna live my life: Locus of Control and Support for the Welfare State," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2014-46, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    10. Markus Leibrecht & Hans Pitlik, 2014. "Generalised Trust, Institutional and Political Constraints on the Executive and Deregulation of Markets," WIFO Working Papers 481, WIFO.
    11. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2016. "Burying the Bumblebee Once and for All:," Working Paper Series 1119, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    12. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov & David Lipka, 2015. "Legitimacy and the cost of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 307-328, March.
    13. Hans Pitlik, 2016. "Who Disapproves of TTIP? Multiple Distrust in Companies and Political Institutions," WIFO Working Papers 513, WIFO.
    14. Niclas Berggren & Christian Bjørnskov, 2019. "Regulation and government debt," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(1), pages 153-178, January.
    15. Markus Leibrecht & Hans Pitlik, 2018. "Is Trust in Companies Rooted in Social Trust, or Regulatory Quality, or Both?," WIFO Working Papers 564, WIFO.
    16. Pitlik, Hans & Rode, Martin, 2017. "Individualistic values, institutional trust, and interventionist attitudes," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 575-598, September.
    17. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2014. "Trust, welfare states and income equality: Sorting out the causality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 183-199.
    18. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2017. "Judicial Independence in the EU – A Puzzle," ILE Working Paper Series 4, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    19. Svatopluk Kapounek, 2017. "The Impact of Institutional Quality on Bank Lending Activity: Evidence from Bayesian Model Averaging," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 67(5), pages 372-395, October.
    20. repec:eee:wdevel:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:324-332 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. John V. Nye & Maksym Bryukhanov & Sergiy Polyachenko, 2016. "Does Higher Education Contribute to a Change in Attitudes to Government Price Control in Russia?," HSE Working papers WP BRP 146/EC/2016, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social trust; Institutional trust; Government regulation; Preference formation; D70; D78; H10; L50;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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