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Gender Differences in the Link between Income and Trust Levels: Evidence from Longitudinal Data

Listed author(s):
  • Bilson, Jessica R.

    ()

    (University of Western Australia)

  • Jetter, Michael

    ()

    (University of Western Australia)

  • Kristoffersen, Ingebjørg

    ()

    (University of Western Australia)

Registered author(s):

    We investigate the effect of individual income on interpersonal trust levels, using longitudinal survey data for 22,219 Australians over the 2005-2014 period. Our results produce two key insights. First, we demonstrate the importance of accounting for individual-level fixed effects, as the income coefficient goes from positive and statistically significant in a pooled regression to negative and statistically significant in a fixed effects panel model. Second, this negative effect of income on trust holds only for men, and not for women. This result appears to be concentrated among males who are young and moving from no income to positive income, but employment status is not the driving factor. Further, we explore a potential channel via psychological characteristics and find evidence of men reporting greater levels of neuroticism and fretfulness following an increase in income but, again, women do not. In turn, neuroticism and fretfulness are robust predictors of decreased trust levels; these additional findings are based on cross-sectional variation only, since both these variables are available in only one of the survey waves to date.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10585.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10585.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10585
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    12. Giordano, Giuseppe Nicola & Lindström, Martin, 2011. "Social capital and change in psychological health over time," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(8), pages 1219-1227, April.
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    15. Myers, C. Daniel & Tingley, Dustin, 2016. "The Influence of Emotion on Trust," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(04), pages 492-500, September.
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