Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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

Gao, Lin (2017): What Affects General Trust? A Perspective from Institutional Economics and Empirical Evidence from China.

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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.

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