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A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust

Pierluigi Conzo () and Francesco Salustri ()

European Economic Review, 2019, vol. 120, issue C

Abstract: This paper examines the long-term effect of conflict on trust by using changes in places and timing of combats during World War II. We focus on the pre-school period, an important life stage for the formation of trust and an age where war exposure may persist throughout life. We find robust evidence that individuals exposed to combats in the first six years of life display lower trust and social engagement well into adulthood. In light of the well-known relationship between trust and collective action, our results lend credence to the theory that violent conflict inhibits well-functioning government in long run.

Keywords: Trust; World War II; Childhood experiences; Conflict; Social preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 O15 O17 A13 J13 N44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Working Paper: A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: A war is forever: The long-run effects of early exposure to World War II on trust? (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:120:y:2019:i:c:s0014292119301655

DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.103313

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European Economic Review is currently edited by T.S. Eicher, A. Imrohoroglu, E. Leeper, J. Oechssler and M. Pesendorfer

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