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Trustworthiness and economic performance

Breuer, Janice Boucher and McDermott, John (2009): Trustworthiness and economic performance.

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Abstract

Intrinsically trustworthy agents never cheat. A society's willingness to trust and the quality of its institutions have their origins in the intrinsic trustworthiness of its citizens. Trustworthiness is the basis for maximizing output in economic exchange and in explaining differences in standards of living around the world. We measure intrinsic trustworthiness with a question from the World Values Survey and estimate its effect using a sample of 60 countries. We find that trustworthiness is important for output per capita and that the effect of trust is likely to come from trustworthiness.

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