Living Under the ‘Right’ Government: Does Political Ideology Matter to Trust in Political Institutions?

53 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2011

See all articles by Justina A. V. Fischer

Justina A. V. Fischer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); Stockholm School of Economics; University of Hohenheim

Date Written: September 12, 2011

Abstract

This paper asks whether trust in political institutions depends on individual’s political leaning and the political ideology of the national government. We employ information on 140,000 individuals in 30 democratic OECD countries from the World Values Survey, 1981-2007, and estimate so-called micro-based pseudo-panel two-way fixed effects models. Distinguishing between extreme and moderate versions of leftist and rightist political leaning, our estimates reveal that political trust increases non-linearly in the degree of individual’s conservatism. We also find that political leaning is not instrumental to improving one's own socio-economic situation, thus rather constituting an expressive behavior. If government ideology matches individual’s political preferences, trust in political institutions is increased. In contrast, the ‘apolitical’ appears to distrust the political system as such. We also find evidence for a symmetric, but incomplete convergence of party ideologies to the median voter position. Implications for vote abstention are discussed.

Keywords: political trust, government ideology, political leaning, World Values Survey

JEL Classification: D72, H11, Z13

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Justina A.V., Living Under the ‘Right’ Government: Does Political Ideology Matter to Trust in Political Institutions? (September 12, 2011). CEIS Working Paper No. 212. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1944169 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1944169

Justina A.V. Fischer (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Stockholm School of Economics

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

University of Hohenheim

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

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