Education and Life Satisfaction in Relation to the Probability of Social Trust: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Analysis

Social Indicators Research, Forthcoming

23 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2016

Date Written: March 25, 2016

Abstract

We employ cross-sectional microdata from 2010 through 2012 collected by the Italian National Institute of Statistics to investigate the proposed conceptual framework regarding the joint relationship between education, life satisfaction and the probability of social trust. The analysis has been carried out using two alternative specifications of the logit model: parametric and semiparametric. Our findings suggest that (a) both modelling methods that we utilise yield consistent results in terms of the positive effects of education and life satisfaction on social trust; (b) for unsatisfied individuals, social trust is generally low and largely unresponsive to the individual’s education level, whereas for ‘sufficiently satisfied’ individuals, social trust increases strongly with education; (c) there are some gender differences in the joint relationship between education, life satisfaction and social trust; and (d) the parametric approach tends to mask some interesting patterns that are captured by the semiparametric specification. This finding implies that the parametric approach leads to a biased interpretation of the results, with an apparent failure of some of the assumptions made in the conceptual framework.

Keywords: Generalised additive model; Generalised linear model; Education; Life satisfaction; Social trust

JEL Classification: C25; D01; I20; I30

Suggested Citation

Zanin, Luca, Education and Life Satisfaction in Relation to the Probability of Social Trust: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Analysis (March 25, 2016). Social Indicators Research, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2755872

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