Hamburg Discussion Papers in International Economics No. 15
University of Hamburg, Department of Economics, Senior Lecturer in International Economics, Hamburg
Using a unique international database on generalized trust - constructed from more than 1,000 individual national surveys containing more than 1 million individual observations - covering 142 countries across the world for the 41-year time period from 1980 to 2020, this paper finds strong evidence that generalized trust at the country level is not stable over time. In fact, the paper finds a pronounced intertemporal variation of generalized trust over time in many countries across the globe. The paper's findings lend greater credibility to the theory of "experiential" trust over that of "cultural" trust, which leads the author to argue for using standard and dynamic panel estimation approaches in future analyses of generalized trust outcomes.
Generalized Trust Intertemporal Variation Stability Panel Data Causality