Historical Correlates of Social Trust

61 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011

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

Date Written: April 21, 2011


Much recent research suggests that social trust strongly affects economic and political behaviour, both at the individual and national level. This paper asks how deep the historical roots of social trust may be. Substantial evidence shows that trust has been persistent among American 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants. Other findings suggest that the roots of trust may be considerably deeper. Evidence using historical data indicates that present trust scores correlate well with even very old national characteristics. The paper concludes by discussing the importance of the findings for how societies develop.

Keywords: Z13, P16, N43

JEL Classification: Social trust, institutional quality, path dependence

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian, Historical Correlates of Social Trust (April 21, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1817540 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1817540

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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