Working Paper Series
Inequality and Trust
Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on economic inequality
and trust. Cross-country studies, within-country studies, and experiments
all suggest that economic inequality exerts a negative influence on trust.
Four mechanisms are proposed to explain the negative relationship: social
ties (or networks), inference on social relationships (to see inequality as
a signal of untrustworthy behavior), conflicts over resources, and
opportunity cost of time. Social ties receive the strongest empirical
support, but there is also some evidence in favor of inference on social
relationships. Conflicts over resources and opportunity cost of time are
contradicted by important pieces of evidence.
Keywords: Trust; Inequality; Social Capital; Social Ties; Networks; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C23; D31; Z13; (follow links to similar papers)
21 pages, August 21, 2007
Before downloading any of the electronic versions below
you should read our statement on
for viewing Postscript files and the
Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.
Full text versions of the paper:
- This paper is published as:
Jordahl, Henrik, (2009), 'Economic Inequality' in Svendsen, Gert and Gunnar Svendsen (eds.) Handbook of Social Capital, chapter 19, Edward Elgar.
Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ()
or Helena Lundin ().
Design by Joachim Ekebom