RESEARCH – Whose Realm, His Trust – Regional Dispersions of Generalized Trust in Europe

Full article here: Stephany (2015). Whose Realm, His Trust – Regional Dispersions of Generalized Trust in Europe

Trust explains the functioning of markets, institutions or society as a whole. It is a key element in almost every commercial transaction over time and might be one of the main explanations of economic success and development. The determinants of (generalized) trust have been investigated in the past. Most of the scholars have focused on aggregate (national) levels of trust. However, it can be assumed that driving forces, which foster or diminish trust, act at a regional level. With the use of the European Social Survey 6 (2012), this work examines the individual and local determinants of trust in 88 European NUTS1 regions in 26 countries. While wealth, linguistic fragmentation, and religious ideologies shape trust on a regional level, education, income, and membership in associations foster trust on an individual level. In a second part, the study unravels regional dispersions in different types of “trust regimes” in Europe. Regional clusters of generalized trust are confirmed by the spatial diagnostics.