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Living under the ‘right’ government: does political ideology matter to trust in political institutions?

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Justina AV Fischer, 2011. "Living under the ‘right’ government: does political ideology matter to trust in political institutions?," CEIS Research Paper 212, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Oct 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:212
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    1. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "The Effect Of Direct Democracy On Income Redistribution: Evidence For Switzerland," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 817-840, October.
    2. Jeffrey V. Butler & Paola Giuliano & Luigi Guiso, 2016. "The Right Amount Of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(5), pages 1155-1180, October.
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    7. Sascha O. Becker & Katrin Boeckh & Christa Hainz & Ludger Woessmann, 2016. "The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Long‐Run Persistence of Trust and Corruption in the Bureaucracy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(590), pages 40-74, February.
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    19. repec:cup:apsrev:v:64:y:1970:i:02:p:426-448_12 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "Globalization and Political Trust," Papers 285, World Trade Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    political trust; government ideology; political leaning; World Values Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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