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Trust, Trustworthiness, Relational Goods and Social Capital: A Cross-Country Economic Analysis

Paul Downward (), Tim Pawlowski and Simona Rasciute ()
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Paul Downward: Loughborough University

No 1110, Working Papers from International Association of Sports Economists, North American Association of Sports Economists

Abstract: For a sample of 34 countries, this paper examines the impact that relational goods have on trust and, more specifically, trustworthiness; that is the degree of trust placed in others. Relational goods emanate from social interactions, which can be viewed as underpinning the development of social capital in the sense of helping to form trust in society. The relational goods examined comprise both informal activities such as meeting with family and friends, as well as more formal but voluntary association connected with participation in cultural, political, civic, sport and religious organisations. As the measure of trust comprises an ordered variable, a variety of ordered estimators are applied to the data, including attempts to account for the country-specific grouping of observation and, as a consequence, unobserved heterogeneity. The results suggest that whilst informal relational activities tend to generate trustworthiness, consistent with the concept of ‘thick’ trust, along with cultural and civic association and frequent political association, there is less evidence that sports does. In addition, the results suggest that religious association can actually reduce trustworthiness along with less frequent political association. Therefore, the results suggest, that it is the type and frequency of associational activity that contributes to the development of trustworthiness, rather than its existence per se.

Keywords: Trust; relational goods; social capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 I31 C25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2011-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-evo, nep-pbe, nep-pke and nep-soc
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