Does rising economic inequality causes trust to fall in society and thus endanger social cohesion? Recent academic research appears to support this notion. However, a study from the University of Luxembourg disagrees.
As recent work from economists from the University of Luxembourg indicates, the apparent link between income inequality and lower general trust could be explained by many other reasons.
“We have identified several previously unobserved elements which may account for the apparent direct relationship” says Dr Javier Olivera, Research Associate at the University of Luxembourg.
He analysed detailed, authoritative European Social Survey data describing the experiences and perceptions of about 270,000 people between 2002 and 2012 in 34 European countries.
He too found a correlation between greater inequality and a lack trust. However, using sophisticated statistical methods he was able to strip away other factors that influence this.
The result: no direct link between income inequality and the general level of trust amongst people within a society.
By far the most important factors were beliefs about a society’s intrinsic values. “Yes, in Scandinavia you find high income-equality and high trust and the opposite in Greece, Spain and Portugal, but I found that one does not cause the other,” explains Dr Olivera.
“Rather the impact may come from the reality of and feelings about institutions, social norms, the legal system, culture, politics and so on.”
Trust would also be influenced by perceptions of socio-economic events. For example, higher crime rates and poor national economic performance may be linked to lower trust.
Dr Olivera adds that further work is required to confirm these conclusions over a longer period than the ten years studied here. “This article is not conclusive but it provides a robust challenge to the notion that trust and inequality are closely linked,” he concludes.
The article “Changes in Inequality and Generalized Trust in Europe” from Javier Olivera is published in the journal Social Indicators Research by Springer Science & Business Media.
http://wwwen.uni.lu/ - University of Luxembourg
Sophie Kolb | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung
Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences