Monday, August 24, 2009

Trust and wealth are correlated: Recently, I used World Values Survey data to estimate the level of trust in countries in several regions of the world. But how close is the connection between trust and economic success? I calculated the correlation between the percent saying that people can be trusted and per capita GDP (taken from Nationmaster) across 82 countries. It's .45, and .51 if we omit Luxembourg (which is a real outlier on GDP).

It almost looks like a case of necessary but not sufficient. Several poor countries are trusting, but of the wealthy countries, only Singapore, Finland, and France are distrustful. And it could be that in some of these poor countries that are very different culturally from the West, there may be translation problems, or respondents might be giving socially acceptable answers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Finnish distrust is primarily aimed at their eastern neighbors. Plus their erstwhile Swedish overlords according to Ilkka's posts.