Cooperation makes beliefs: Weather variation and sources of social trust in Vietnam
In this paper, I investigate the origins of social trust within Vietnam. By combining a unique contemporary survey of households with historical data on weather variation, I show that individuals who are heavily threatened by negative weather fluctuation exhibit more trust in neighbours and others within their close group. The evidence indicates that the effects of weather variation on social trust are transmitted through strengthening the cooperation among village peasants as they cope with risk and uncertainty. The results also show that households with higher proportion of agricultural income tend to trust people more. However, the increased strengthening of the village relationships does not erode family ties.
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