Trust in Trade: Studying the Causal Role of Trust on Public Support for Free Trade in a Field Survey Experiment
45 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2013
Date Written: November 25, 2013
While most explanations of individual trade policy preferences center on the re-distributional implications of trade, recent research is particularly interested in the role of non-economic determinants. We join the latter line of work by studying the effect of a fundamental socio-psychological determinant of trade preferences: generalized social trust. The hypothesized causal effect of social trust is tested in a field survey experiment that combines a voluntary contribution game with a survey. The empirical work was carried out in Hanoi, Vietnam. The findings offer robust support for the argument that social trust has a positive causal effect on public support for international trade.
Keywords: trade liberalization, social trust, public opinion, survey experiment, voluntary contribution game, Vietnam
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