We study the determinants of trust in the ECB as measured by the European Commission's Eurobarometer survey. The formulation of the corresponding question in this survey is very general, and compatible with very different notions of "trust" by respondents. In particular, the survey does not ask whether respondents trust that the ECB delivers on its mandate. Still, the ECB started with a relatively high level of trust right from the outset, especially in comparison with national institutions (other than central banks). However, with the onset of the global financial crisis, trust started to fall. It also continued to fall after 2010, a period not covered by our analysis. We find that the fall in trust until spring 2010 can be rather well explained based on the pre-crisis determinants, and show that it reflected the macroeconomic deterioration, a more generalised fall in the trust in European institutions in the wake of the crisis as well as the severity of the banking sector's problems, with which the ECB was associated in the public opinion. Finally, we show that a higher degree of knowledge about the ECB generates more trust in normal times and even more so during the financial crisis.
Eurobarometer European Central Bank global financial crisis public opinion Trust