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Diversity and trust: The role of shared values

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk () and Mariko Klasing ()

Journal of Comparative Economics, 2016, vol. 44, issue 3, 522-540

Abstract: Social diversity has been linked to a range of socio-economic and political outcomes, generally showing that higher diversity is associated with lower socio-economic performance. In this paper we focus on the extent to which key human values and beliefs are shared in society, which captures a dimension of diversity not previously discussed. We assess the importance of value diversity by focusing on its role in fostering generalized trust within societies. We find that value diversity, in particular with regard to political ideological values concerning income redistribution and the role of the government in influencing markets, is important for understanding the international variation in trust, with high diversity being associated with lower levels of trust. This relationship is robust to controlling for various other determinants of trust, including other dimensions of diversity, and holds at various levels of aggregation.

Keywords: Diversity; Values; Polarization; Political ideology; Trust (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H0 O10 O5 P0 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.10.014

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:44:y:2016:i:3:p:522-540