Skip to main content
placeholder image

What makes trusters trust?

Conference Paper


Abstract


  • The vast majority of studies investigating the antecedents of interpersonal trust are limited by their

    reliance on cross-sectional data. In this paper, we make use of highquality repeated measures data

    from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to examine the effect of a range of theoretically

    related explanatory variables on subsequent levels of interpersonal trust over a six year period. We

    employ a fixed effects specification with lagged covariates to control for the time-invariant

    characteristics of individuals that might spuriously link our explanatory variables to subsequent

    changes in trust. We contrast the results of our fixed effects model with cross-sectional and a

    repeated measures random effects specifications, which do not control for unobserved individual

    heterogeneity. While the cross-sectional and random effects models show substantial effects of life

    events on subsequent levels of trust, the fixed effects specification shows only two significant

    explanatory variables. The only events found to predict a future increase in trust are obtaining a

    post-compulsory educational qualification, and improving one’s perception of the financial situation

    of the household. These results lead us to conclude that existing correlational studies of the causes

    of interpersonal trust are likely to be affected by endogeneity bias. Additionally, the small number

    of significant predictors of trust found in the fixed effects model lends support to the idea that

    interpersonal trust is a relatively stable social value, developed early in the life-course and relatively

    resistant to ‘life events’ in the short to medium term.

Authors


  •   Sturgis, Patrick (external author)
  •   Patulny, Roger
  •   Allum, Nick (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Sturgis, P., Patulny, R. & Allum, N. 2007, ''What makes trusters trust?'', International Conference Reciprocity: Theories and Facts Conference, pp. 57-57.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1379

Start Page


  • 57

End Page


  • 57

Abstract


  • The vast majority of studies investigating the antecedents of interpersonal trust are limited by their

    reliance on cross-sectional data. In this paper, we make use of highquality repeated measures data

    from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to examine the effect of a range of theoretically

    related explanatory variables on subsequent levels of interpersonal trust over a six year period. We

    employ a fixed effects specification with lagged covariates to control for the time-invariant

    characteristics of individuals that might spuriously link our explanatory variables to subsequent

    changes in trust. We contrast the results of our fixed effects model with cross-sectional and a

    repeated measures random effects specifications, which do not control for unobserved individual

    heterogeneity. While the cross-sectional and random effects models show substantial effects of life

    events on subsequent levels of trust, the fixed effects specification shows only two significant

    explanatory variables. The only events found to predict a future increase in trust are obtaining a

    post-compulsory educational qualification, and improving one’s perception of the financial situation

    of the household. These results lead us to conclude that existing correlational studies of the causes

    of interpersonal trust are likely to be affected by endogeneity bias. Additionally, the small number

    of significant predictors of trust found in the fixed effects model lends support to the idea that

    interpersonal trust is a relatively stable social value, developed early in the life-course and relatively

    resistant to ‘life events’ in the short to medium term.

Authors


  •   Sturgis, Patrick (external author)
  •   Patulny, Roger
  •   Allum, Nick (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2007

Citation


  • Sturgis, P., Patulny, R. & Allum, N. 2007, ''What makes trusters trust?'', International Conference Reciprocity: Theories and Facts Conference, pp. 57-57.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/artspapers/1379

Start Page


  • 57

End Page


  • 57