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Regulation and Distrust

  • Pierre Cahuc

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique)

  • Andrei Shleifer

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Philippe Aghion

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Yann Algan

    (Département d'économie)

In a cross-section of countries, government regulation is strongly negatively correlated with social capital. We document this correlation, and present a model explaining it. In the model, distrust creates public demand for regulation, while regulation in turn discourages social capital accumulation, leading to multiple equilibria. A key implication of the model is that individuals in low trust countries want more government intervention even though the government is corrupt. We test this and other implications of the model using country- and individual-level data on social capital and beliefs about government’s role, as well as on changes in beliefs and in trust during the transition from socialism.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number 14648.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/8883
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  1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Government Ownership of Banks," Working Paper Series rwp01-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  3. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Shleifer, Andrei & Lopez de Silanes, Florencio, 2001. "The regulation of entry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2661, The World Bank.
  4. Leonard Wantchekon & Nathan Nunn, 2009. "Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," 2009 Meeting Papers 34, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  13. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 595-619, December.
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  18. Easterly, William & Levine, Ross, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-50, November.
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  20. Alberto Alesina & Arnaud Devleeschauwer & William Easterly & Sergio Kurlat & Romain Wacziarg, 2002. "Fractionalization," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1959, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  25. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8814 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Philippe Aghion, 2008. "Can Policy influence culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor relations," 2008 Meeting Papers 574, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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