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Individualistic Values, Institutional Trust, and Interventionist Attitudes

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  • Hans Pitlik

    (WIFO)

  • Martin Rode

Abstract

Ever since Max Weber (1930) uncovered the cultural origins of capitalism, a common denominator for explanations of economic development is that "individualistic values" provide a more favourable background for promoting the wealth of nations. This paper investigates the impact of individualist values on personal attitudes towards government intervention, as a potential link of culture and formal institutions. We consider two key components of an "individualistic culture" to be particularly relevant for attitude formation, namely values related to self-direction and self-determination. Results indicate that both elements of individualistic values are associated negatively with interventionist preferences. Interestingly, effects of self-direction values on intervention attitudes are much weaker though, than the effects of a strong belief in self-determination. Moreover, the effects of self-direction on intervention preferences are mitigated through higher trust in state actors and lower confidence in major companies, while that does not appear to be the case for self-determination values.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Pitlik & Martin Rode, 2016. "Individualistic Values, Institutional Trust, and Interventionist Attitudes," WIFO Working Papers 515, WIFO.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2016:i:515
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolaev, Boris & Boudreaux, Christopher & Salahodjaev, Rauf, 2017. "Are individualistic societies less equal? Evidence from the parasite stress theory of values," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 30-49.
    2. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2018. "Does Masculinity Matter for Female Leaders? Evidence in cross-section countries," MPRA Paper 84776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2017. "Judicial Independence in the EU – A Puzzle," ILE Working Paper Series 4, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.

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    Keywords

    individualism; self-direction; self-determination; government intervention; institutional trust; preference formation;

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