Anneli Kaasa (School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu), co-author Luca Andriani (Department of Management, Birkbeck, University of London)
Determinants of Institutional Trust: The Role of the Cultural Context
The purpose of this exploratory multilevel analysis is to examine the possible impact of cultural context on institutional trust, the level of trust people have towards institutions. The main novelty lies in adding cultural dimensions to the factors widely analysed in the literature so far: institutional performance and social or interpersonal trust. The cultural context is operationalised using the up-to-date indicators of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The individual-level data from two waves of the European Social Survey (2008 and 2010) were complemented with regional-level data from multiple sources and analysed with the help of multilevel regression analysis. The results show that besides social trust, corruption perception and institutional quality, cultural context matters as well. At that, both trust towards different institutions and different cultural dimensions have to be analysed separately to uncover various relationships. Also, the findings imply that the reasoning behind the possible impact of communist past can be at least to some extent explained with cultural context.