Working Paper No. 994

Trust, Welfare States and Income Equality: What Causes What?

Published: December 12, 2013Pages: 42Keywords: Social trust; Inequality; Welfare StateJEL-codes: H10; D63; D69
Published version

Trust, Welfare States and Income Equality: What Causes What? Andreas Bergh and Christian Bjørnskov


The cross-country correlation between social trust and income equality is well documented, but few studies examine the direction of causality. We show theoretically that by facilitating cooperation, trust may increase efficiency and lead to more equal outcomes, while the feedback from inequality to trust is ambiguous. Using a structural equations model estimated on a large country sample, we find that trust has a positive effect on both market and net income equality. Larger welfare states lead to higher net equality but neither net income equality nor welfare state size seems to have a causal effect on trust. We conclude that while trust facilitates welfare state policies that may reduce net inequality, this decrease in inequality does not increase trust.

Andreas Bergh

Contact

Mob: 070 779 0734
andreas.bergh@ifn.se

Christian Bjørnskov

Contact

Ph: +45 87 16 48 19
Mob: +45 20 12 03 84
chbj@econ.au.dk

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

9783030350048_200x_the-european-union-and-the-return-of-the-nation-state.jpg

This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se