Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Characteristics of social policies and social trust

Tamilina, Larysa (2012): Characteristics of social policies and social trust.

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Abstract

Institutional theory asserts that the institutional design of benefit schemes predefines its influence on social trust levels. Many studies conclude that non means-tested benefit schemes should positively influence interpersonal trust while means-tested ones are expected to be negatively associated with confidence in others. The main rationale behind this mechanism rests on the idea that the former is more effective in reducing income inequality and guarantying equality of opportunities than the latter. Our cross-sectional analysis tested this hypothesis for 18 OECD countries and provided evidence that only partially supported our expectations in the case of interpersonal trust.

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