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The relationship between trust and networks. An exploratory empirical analysis

Fabio Sabatini ()

Economics Bulletin, 2009, vol. 29, issue 2, 661-672

Abstract: Which kind of network fosters the diffusion of development-oriented trust? This paper carries out an empirical investigation into the causal relationships connecting four types of social networks (i.e. bonding, bridging, linking, and corporate), and different forms of trust (knowledge-based trust, social trust, trust towards public services and political institutions), in a community of entrepreneurs located in the Italian industrial district of the Tuscia. Our results suggest that the main factors fostering the diffusion of social trust among entrepreneurs is the establishment of corporate ties through professional associations. Trust in people is positively and significantly correlated also to higher levels of satisfaction and confidence in public services. Participation in voluntary organizations does not appear to increase trust towards strangers. Rather, we find evidence of the other way round: interpersonal trust seems to encourage civic engagement.

Keywords: Trust; Social capital; Social networks; Professional associations; Entrepreneurship; Corporate ties; Group and Interpersonal Processes; Social Perception and Cognition. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-04-27
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