Working Paper No. 1132

A Sticky Trait: Social Trust among Swedish Expatriates in Countries with Varying Institutional Quality

Published: September 7, 2016, revised December 2016 and June 2018Pages: 55Keywords: Social trust; Institutions; Corruption; Rule of law; MigrationJEL-codes: F22; P48; Z13

A Sticky Trait: Social Trust among Swedish Expatriates in Countries with Varying Institutional Quality Andreas Bergh and Richard Öhrvall


Social trust is linked to many desirable economic and social outcomes. Using new data from a representative sample of 2,668 Swedish expatriates, we examine the robustness of high social trust in countries with different levels of institutional quality. The results suggest that individual trust decreases with length of stay in countries with high corruption and low rule of law. The effect is relatively small and driven by expatriates who were aged 30 years or below upon arrival to the new country. While other studies have found that trust among migrants adapts to destination country trust levels, we find that after the (approximate) age of 30, high trust is a sticky personality trait. The results are robust to controlling for a large array of individual characteristics (including age) and support the view that social trust is sensitive to events that occur early in life.

 


A previous version of this paper was entitled "The Moldable Young: How Institutions Impact Social Trust".

 

Andreas Bergh

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

Richard Öhrvall

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Mob: +46 708 845 875
richard.ohrvall@ifn.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

Trust in the European Union in Challenging Times

2018-Trust-in-the-European-Union-by-Oxelheim.jpg

This is the first book in the Interdisciplinary European Studies collection. This volume provides an interdisciplinary perspective on trust in the EU from the vantage point of political science, law and economics. Lars Oxelheim, Lund University and affiliated to IFN, is one of the authors.

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