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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. Roland Vaubel & Axel Dreher & Uğurlu Soylu, 2007. "Staff growth in international organizations: A principal-agent problem? An empirical analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 275-295, December.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2011. "Trust in Public Institutions over the Business Cycle," CAMA Working Papers 2011-06, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
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    4. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 2004. "In Defense of Globalization: It Has a Human Face," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(6), pages 9-20, November-.
    5. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2006. "Strengthening the citizens' role in international organizations," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 27-43, March.
    6. Benno Torgler, 2007. "Trust in International Organizations: An Empirical Investigation Focusing on the United Nations," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 213, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    7. Silvia Marchesi & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Is two better than one? The effects of IMF and World Bank interaction on growth," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 287-306, September.
    8. Axel Dreher, 2005. "Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a new Index of Globalization," TWI Research Paper Series 6, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
    9. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Development aid and international politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-18, January.
    10. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Global horse trading: IMF loans for votes in the United Nations Security Council," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 742-757, October.
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    13. Karl Kaltenthaler & Christopher J. Anderson & William J. Miller, 2010. "Accountability and Independent Central Banks: Europeans and Distrust of the European Central Bank," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48, pages 1261-1281, November.
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    19. Bernhard Boockmann & Axel Dreher, 2002. "The Contribution of the IMF and the World Bank to Economic Freedom," International Finance 0207001, EconWPA.
    20. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
      • 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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