IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Varieties of Trust


  • Eric M. Uslaner

    (University of Maryland)


There are multiple dimensions of trust. The standard meaning I call "strategic trust." But more important is "moralistic trust," which does not stem from experience, but rather is learned early in life and is largely stable over time. Moralistic trust leads people to do good works such as contributing to charity and volunteering time and to be more tolerant toward minorities. Countries with high levels of trust have better functioning governments and redistribute resources from the rich to the poor. Moralistic trust rests upon a foundation of economic equality: The most equal countries have the highest levels of trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric M. Uslaner, 2005. "Varieties of Trust," Working Papers 2005.69, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.69

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sigrid Roßteutscher, 2002. "Advocate or Reflection? Associations and Political Culture," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 50(3), pages 514-528, August.
    2. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:90:y:1996:i:01:p:46-60_20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete & Precious Zikhali, 2011. "Social tolerance for human diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 516-536, May.
    2. repec:bis:bisifc:45-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Grießhaber, Nicolas & Geys, Benny, 2011. "Civic engagement and corruption in 20 European democracies," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2011-103, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

    More about this item


    Trust; Social capital; Tolerance; Civic engagement;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2005.69. 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: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.