English title: Generalized trust across Europe: The impact of welfare familialism

Author(s): Bram Hogendoorn -

Language: English

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2015


Institutional explanations of trust are gaining ground, but have ignored the role of the family. This study explores whether cross-country differences in generalized trust can be explained by welfare familialism. Two theories are put forward connecting familialism to trust. According to contact theory, out-group contacts are crucial for developing trust, but familialism confines contacts to the family. According to fairness theory, trust develops where the combination of welfare practices is in line with individual family values. Multilevel analysis is applied to pooled cross-sectional data from the European Social Survey (2002-2012), supplemented by indices of familialism for 30 European countries. The results reject contact theory and lend some support to fairness theory. A familialistic explanation of trust thus seems promising, but the exact mechanism needs further elaboration.


Awarding institution: Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Number of pages: 36

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