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Living under the ‘right’ government: does political ideology matter to trust in political institutions? An analysis for OECD countries

  • Fischer, Justina

This paper asks whether trust in political institutions depends on individual’s political leaning and the political ideology of the national government. We employ information on 140'000 individuals in 30 democratic OECD countries from the World Values Survey, 1981 – 2007, and estimate so-called micro-based pseudo-panel two-way fixed effects models. Distinguishing between extreme and moderate versions of leftist and rightist political leaning, our estimates reveal that political trust increases non-linearly in the degree of individual’s conservatism. We also find that political leaning is not instrumental to improving one's own socio-economic situation, thus rather constituting an expressive behavior. If government ideology matches individual’s political preferences, trust in political institutions is increased. In contrast, the ‘apolitical’ appears to distrust the political system as such. We also find evidence for a symmetric, but incomplete convergence of party ideologies to the median voter position. Implications for vote abstention are discussed.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/33344/2/MPRA_paper_33344.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33344.

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Date of creation: 12 Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33344
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  1. Butler, Jeffrey V. & Giuliano, Paola & Guiso, Luigi, 2009. "The Right Amount of Trust," IZA Discussion Papers 4416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1998. "Sources of Inefficiency in a Representative Democracy: A Dynamic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 139-56, March.
  3. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2011. "Trust in Public Institutions over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 16891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Becker, Sascha O. & Boeckh, Katrin & Hainz, Christa & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Long-Run Persistence of Trust and Corruption in the Bureaucracy," IZA Discussion Papers 5584, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2006. "The Effect of Direct Democracy on Income Redistribution:Evidence for Switzerland," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-53, July.
  7. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," NBER Working Papers 8198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2010. "Government Decentralization As A Disincentive For Transnational Terror? An Empirical Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 981-1002, November.
  10. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
  11. J. Duggan & C. Martinelli, 2011. "A Spatial Theory of Media Slant and Voter Choice," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(2), pages 640-666.
  12. Evans, Peter, 1996. "Government action, social capital and development: Reviewing the evidence on synergy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1119-1132, June.
  13. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV, 2008. "Formal Institutions and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Cross-Country Evidence," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 699, Stockholm School of Economics.
  14. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(2), pages 1542-1565, 04.
  16. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W., 1993. "A model of political equilibrium in a representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-209, June.
  17. Justina A. V. Fischer, 2010. "Stuttgart 21: mit direkter Demokratie aus der Sackgasse?," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(51/52), pages 19-25.
  18. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "The U-Shape without Controls," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 896, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  19. Justina A.V. Fischer, 2009. "Happiness and Age Cycles - Return to Start...?: On the Functional Relationship between Subjective Well-Being and Age," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 99, OECD Publishing.
  20. Bert G.M. Van Landeghem, 2008. "Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel," LICOS Discussion Papers 21308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  21. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  22. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  23. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-63, June.
  24. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
  25. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
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