Social Trust and Fractionalization: A Possible Reinterpretation

Posted: 5 Aug 2009

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Abstract

This paper takes a closer look at the importance of fractionalization for the creation of social trust. It first argues that the determinants of trust can be divided into two categories: those affecting individuals’ trust radii and those affecting social polarization. A series of estimates using a much larger country sample than in previous literature confirms that fractionalization in the form of income inequality and political diversity adversely affects social trust while ethnic diversity does not. However, these effects differ systematically across countries, questioning standard interpretations of the influence of fractionalization on trust.

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian, Social Trust and Fractionalization: A Possible Reinterpretation. European Sociological Review, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 271-283, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1443692 or http://dx.doi.org/jcn004

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

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Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

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Sweden

Center for Political Studies

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Institute for Corruption Studies

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United States

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