The Economics of Change and Stability in Social Trust: Evidence From (and for) Catalan Secession

44 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2019

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

Martin Rode

University of Navarra

Miguel Ángel Borrella Mas

University of Navarra

Date Written: November 5, 2019

Abstract

Consequences of social trust are comparatively well studied, while its societal determinants are often subject to debate. This paper studies both in the context of Catalan attempts to secede from Spain: First, we test if Catalonia enjoys higher levels of social capital that it is prevented from capitalizing on. Second, the paper examines whether secessionist movements create animosity and political divisions within society that undermine trust. Employing the eight available waves of the European Social Survey for Spain, we show that social trust levels are not higher in Catalonia than in the rest of the country. However, we find indications of a significant regional increase after secession became a real option in 2014. We argue that this finding is a likely result of the mental process of nation building, indicating that the formation of social trust may best be thought of as a stable punctuated equilibrium.

Keywords: social trust, secession, social change, stability

JEL Classification: H77, R50, Z13

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian and Rode, Martin and Borrella Mas, Miguel Ángel, The Economics of Change and Stability in Social Trust: Evidence From (and for) Catalan Secession (November 5, 2019). IFN Working Paper No. 1301. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3481174

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

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

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Martin Rode

University of Navarra ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Aguila, 3
Pamplona, Navarra 31080
Spain

Miguel Ángel Borrella Mas

University of Navarra ( email )

Camino del Cerro del Aguila, 3
Pamplona, Navarra 31080
Spain

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