[Vol.29 No.2] Which Type of Trust Matters?: Interpersonal vs. Institutional vs. Political Trust

Macro Economy
Institutional Trust Economic Growth Social Capital Interpersonal Trust Political Trust
Research Planning & Coordination Team(02-759-5490)

Author: In Do Hwang(Bank of Korea)

 Although an increasing number of studies demonstrate the importance of trust in economic growth, most of them only focus on interpersonal trust. This paper considers various types of trust including interpersonal trust (i.e., trust in most people), institutional trust (e.g., trust in the fair administration of justice, or trust in the protection of property rights), and political trust (e.g., trust in government or political parties), and investigates their impacts on growth. Using novel cross-country survey data, this paper finds that institutional trust is most robustly related to the economic growth in a cross-section of 46 countries. This paper also shows that there is a causal relationship between institutional trust and growth using panel data from those 46 countries. Hence, in contrast with the previous trust literature which focuses on trust in “people” as a “time-invariant cultural feature,” this paper stresses trust in the “social system” as an “institutions-dependent feature.”

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