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What Determines Trust in International Organizations?

  • Zohal Hessami

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

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    So far no existing study has analyzed what determines people’s trust in the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO even though – in the absence of democratic accountability – this is one of the few ways to assess the legitimacy of these institutions. This study is intended to fill this gap in the literature based on Eurobarometer survey data from the EU-15 countries. The estimation results suggest that individual characteristics (gender, international background, formal education level, personal income, ideological preferences, interest in politics, and exposure to media) as well as the extent of globalization influence trust in the three international organizations. The state of the economy only has a significant effect on trust in the WTO. Moreover, respondents’ attitudes towards globalization have a bearing on trust in all three international organizations. Survey items on individual knowledge and perceptions of the WTO allow us to test additional hypotheses that apply to this institution alone. We find that familiarity with the WTO fosters trust. Finally, beliefs that the EU is well-represented in the WTO, that the WTO has a good reputation and that it is a democratic and necessary institution increases repondents’ propensity to trust the WTO.

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    File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-konstanz.de/workingpaperseries/WP_44-Hessami-11.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Konstanz in its series Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz with number 2011-44.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1144
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    1. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Benno Torgler, 2007. "Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations," Working Papers 2007.45, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Fischer, Justina AV & Hahn, Volker, 2008. "Determinants of Trust in the European Central Bank," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 695, Stockholm School of Economics.
    4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2011. "Trust in Public Institutions over the Business Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 3389, CESifo Group Munich.
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      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    20. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521816755 is not listed on IDEAS
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