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The Economics of Change and Stability in Social Trust: Evidence from (and for) Catalan Secession

Christian Bjørnskov (), Miguel Ángel Borrella-Mas () and Martin Rode
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Miguel Ángel Borrella-Mas: Universidad de Navarra, Postal: Campus Universitario, 31009,Pamplona, Navarra, Spain

No 1301, Working Paper Series from Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Abstract: Consequences of social trust are comparatively well studied, while its societal determinants are often subject to debate. This paper studies both in the context of Catalan attempts to secede from Spain: First, we test if Catalonia enjoys higher levels of social capital that it is prevented from capitalizing on. Second, the paper examines whether secessionist movements create animosity and political divisions within society that undermine trust. Employing the eight available waves of the European Social Survey for Spain, we show that social trust levels are not higher in Catalonia than in the rest of the country. However, we find indications of a significant regional increase after secession became a real option in 2014. We argue that this finding is a likely result of the mental process of nation building, indicating that the formation of social trust may best be thought of as a stable punctuated equilibrium.

Keywords: Social trust; Secession; Social change; Stability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H77 R50 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2019-11-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
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