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Trust

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Abstract:

Trust data is based on the question: "Generally speaking would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people?". Data come from two different surveys: the European Social Survey (ESS) (2008 wave 4) for OECD‐Europe and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) (2007 wave) for non‐OECD Europe. For the ESS, interviewees answer using a 10‐point scale with the lowest category being "You can't be too careful" and the highest "Most people can be trusted". The ISSP has four categories: "People can almost always be trusted", "People can usually be trusted", "You usually can't be too careful in dealing with people", and "You almost always can't be too careful in dealing with people". The trust measure aggregates the top five categories for the ESS and the top two categories for the ISSP to give a percentage of people expressing high levels of trust. When data for a country was available from different sources, ESS data was preferred over ISSP data, because of larger sample sizes and a more nuanced question. Weights provided by the surveys were applied. Data comparability across countries may be affected by sample sizes and variation in response rates. Further comparability issues arise because of differences in survey frames and questions. For assessing trends in trust, annual average changes were calculated using the 2002 ESS (wave 1), and the 1998 ISSP wave as starting points. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 ‐ perfect equality ‐ and 1 ‐ all income goes to one person.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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