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Determinants of Individual Trust in Global Institutions: The Role of Social Capital and Transnational Identity

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DOI: 10.4236/sm.2012.23036    6,003 Downloads   9,573 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

The focus of this paper is to examine the determinants of individual-level trust in global institutional actors, namely the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and multinational corporations (MNCs). This study is guided by two lines of inquiry. First, consistent with the social capital theory, it investigates the role of social or generalized trust in creating institutional trust. Second, in keeping with the extant literature on economic and cultural globalization, it also probes into how and to what extent transnational identity shapes people’s perception and evaluation of international organizations. Based on the Asian Barometer Survey (2003), a cross-national dataset covering 10 Asian countries (N = 8086), this study finds that both factors significantly shape the level of institutional trust, while controlling for a host of relevant variables. More specifically, logistic regression analyses reveal that the tendency to trust generalized others has a positive association with the degree of trust placed in institutional actors. Transnational identity, on the contrary, has the reverse effect. The implications of the empirical findings and the suggestions for future research are discussed.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

H. Kim, H. (2012). Determinants of Individual Trust in Global Institutions: The Role of Social Capital and Transnational Identity. Sociology Mind, 2, 272-281. doi: 10.4236/sm.2012.23036.

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