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What Affects General Trust? A Perspective from Institutional Economics and Empirical Evidence from China

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  • Gao, Lin

Abstract

Given the importance of trust, exploring what may affect trust then becomes attractive. The main purpose of this paper is to explain general trust quantitatively. This paper from, but not limited to, a perspective of original institutional economics elaborates what may affect general trust and proposes three reasonable hypotheses first, and then uses CGSS 2013 dataset to execute ordered logit regression of general trust on some selected variables. It is found that taken advantage has a strongly significant negative impact on general trust; fairness, moral satisfaction, opinion similarity, leisure time for rest and leisure time for learning have strongly significant positive impacts on general trust; public security problem, however, has a negative but not significant impact on general trust. These core explanatory variables improve predictive capability by 4 percent. This paper also compares general trust and trust in strangers, and regress trust in strangers on the same independent variables of general trust. There are two main differences: the first is that the negative impact of public security problem gets significant for trust in strangers; the second is that the significant impact of leisure time for resting gets negative for trust in strangers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gao, Lin, 2017. "What Affects General Trust? A Perspective from Institutional Economics and Empirical Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 79948, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:79948
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/79948/1/MPRA_paper_79948.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 362-366, May.
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    8. Wolfram Elsner & Henning Schwardt, 2015. "From Emergent Cooperation to Contextual Trust, and to General Trust: Overlapping Meso-Sized Interaction Arenas and Cooperation Platforms as a Foundation of Pro-Social Behavior," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 69-86, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    general trust; trust in strangers; original institutional economics; fairness; morality; opinion; public security; leisure time;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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