Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Decommodification and stratification effects on social trust

Tamilina, Larysa (2011): Decommodification and stratification effects on social trust.

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Abstract

This paper studies the outcome effect of social policy, which forms the outcome dimension. The first sub-chapter provides arguments in favor of the introduction of an outcome spectrum in the social trust analysis. The analysis is conducted by relating the level of decommodification and stratification in the selected 18 OECD countries to interpersonal and institutional trust indexes among their populations. The aggregated level of analysis advocates that the integration and institutional arguments are valid in explaining the effects of welfare state development on social trust formation. The results obtained at the individual level of analysis provide mixed evidence. First, welfare regimes’ dummies show that both forms of trust are lowest in liberal welfare regimes, highest in Scandinavian countries, and moderate in continental Europe. When directly assessing the impact of decommodification on trust levels, we find evidence of crowding-in for both forms of social trust. It should be noted however that the impact of decommodification contains an explicit functional dimension, which assumes that its effects differ across social provisions. As the analysis confirms, the effects of welfare states on social trust are policy specific and should be studied for each social provision separately. Stratification affects social trust elements in a different way. The preserving of the existing class structure, which is inherent to conservative welfare regimes, negatively influences institutional trust but positively affects interpersonal trust. The stigmatizing approach of liberal welfare states erodes interpersonal trust but boosts institutional trust. Finally, socialism’s universal approach leads to crowding-in effects in both forms of social trust.

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