12 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 24, 2011
We document that trust in public institutions — and particularly trust in banks, business and government — has declined over recent years. U.S. time series evidence suggests that this partly reflects the pro-cyclical nature of trust in institutions. Cross-country comparisons reveal a clear legacy of the Great Recession, and those countries whose unemployment grew the most suffered the biggest loss in confidence in institutions, particularly in trust in government and the financial sector. Finally, analysis of several repeated cross-sections of confidence within U.S. states yields similar qualitative patterns, but much smaller magnitudes in response to state-specific shocks.
Keywords: trust, institutions, confidence, survey data, congress, banks, big business, media, courts
JEL Classification: D720, E320, E650, K000, O400, P520, Z130
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Stevenson, Betsey and Wolfers, Justin, Trust in Public Institutions Over the Business Cycle (March 24, 2011). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3389. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1793748