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Social Capital and Political Institutions: Evidence that Democracy Fosters Trust

This paper finds evidence that more democratic political institutions increase trust. Second generation immigrants with ancestries from 115 countries are studied within 30 European countries. Comparing individuals born and residing in the same country, those whose father was born in a more democratic country express higher trust than those whose father was born in a less democratic country. The results are robust to individual, parental, and ancestral country controls.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 988.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: 18 Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published as Ljunge, Martin, 'Social Capital and Political Institutions: Evidence that Democracy Fosters Trust' in Economics Letters, 2014, pages 44-49.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0988
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
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  1. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  3. Guido Tabellini, 2005. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 1492, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik, 2005. "Free to Trust? Economic Freedom and Social Capital," Ratio Working Papers 64, The Ratio Institute.
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  7. Ljunge, Martin, 2012. "Cultural transmission of civicness," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 291-294.
  8. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Andrei Shleifer, . "Teaching Practices and Social Capital," Working Paper 19523, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 5122, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Raquel Fernandez & Alessandra Fogli, 2005. "Culture: an empirical investigation of beliefs, work, and fertility," Staff Report 361, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  12. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Presidential Address Institutions and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 255-294, 04-05.
  13. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-92, December.
  14. Louis Putterman & David Weil, 2008. "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequity," Working Papers 2008-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  15. Martin Ljunge, 2011. "Trust Issues: Evidence from Second Generation Immigrants," Discussion Papers 11-31, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. Raquel Fernández, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," NBER Working Papers 16277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Zak, Paul J & Knack, Stephen, 2001. "Trust and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 295-321, April.
  18. Johnson, Noel D. & Mislin, Alexandra, 2012. "How much should we trust the World Values Survey trust question?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 210-212.
  19. Fernández, Raquel, 2010. "Does Culture Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7965, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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