Economic conditions and social trust climates in Europe over ten years: An ecological analysis of change
|Title||Economic conditions and social trust climates in Europe over ten years: An ecological analysis of change|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Authors||Morselli, D, Glaeser, S|
|Journal||Journal of Trust Research|
|Keywords||Guido Möllering, income distribution, inequality, social change, social trust, trust climates|
Two concurrent positions have driven research on the relationship between economic factors and social trust across countries: While some research has shown that unequal wealth distribution leads to poor social trust, other research has argued that social trust is the precondition to a country's economic performance and distribution of economic resources. Using an ecological linear growth model, this study tests these two concurrent positions with data from the first six rounds of the European Social Survey (ESS). This study focuses on the links between socio-economic conditions and inclusive social capital climates, i.e. social climates where inclusive attitudes and generalised trust are widely extended to outgroups. Two models are estimated with Bayesian methods and then compared. The results support the hypothesis that the diffusion of inclusive social capital climates can predict the improvement of a country's socio-economic conditions. However, they also support the opposite hypothesis, according to which the improvement of socio-economic conditions is pivotal in creating a climate of trust. Slightly stronger results are found for the latter hypothesis, suggesting that the enhancement of economic conditions and income distribution may be pivotal in reinforcing the social fabric.