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Trade, Social Values, and the Generalized Trust


  • Kenneth S. Chan

    () (Department of Economics and Finance, City University of Hong Kong)


The present paper investigates, empirically, whether global economic integration can lead to national social disintegration, as proclaimed by Rodrik. One can perhaps conjecture that a drop in the generalized trust in a country may signal a rise in social disintegration. Using the survey data on the generalized trust provided by the World Values Surveys, the present paper finds that, in general, there is a positive openness–trust relationship. However, when globalization undermines domestic income distribution, it will weaken this openness–trust relationship. There is also evidence of a threshold inequality above which the openness–trust relationship turns negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth S. Chan, 2007. "Trade, Social Values, and the Generalized Trust," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 733-753, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:73:3:y:2007:p:733-753

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dearmon, Jacob & Grier, Kevin, 2009. "Trust and development," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 210-220, August.
    2. Cyrus Teresa L., 2012. "Cultural Distance and Bilateral Trade," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 12(4), pages 1-25, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Nabamita Dutta & Sanjukta Roy, 2013. "The changing face of culture: gauging the impact of a free media," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 95-115, August.
    5. Yamamura, Eiji, 2013. "Atomic bombs and the long-run effect on trust: Experiences in Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 17-24.
    6. Devesh Roy & Abdul Munasib & Xing Chen, 2014. "Social trust and international trade: the interplay between social trust and formal finance," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 150(4), pages 693-714, November.
    7. Christopher Coyne & Claudia Williamson, 2009. "Trade Openness and Culture," Working Papers 09-05, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


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