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TRUST — Result In Brief

Project ID: 240923
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: France

The interconnection among cooperation, economics and institutions

An EU-funded project worked to provide a new approach regarding economic decisions based on moral cooperative values, such as trust. The team also looked at how economic environment and public policy shape cultural and social values.
The interconnection among cooperation, economics and institutions
TRUST (Culture, cooperation and economics) examined the bidirectional causal relationship among the culture of cooperation, economics and institutions. Project researchers used innovative methodologies, by tracking social and economic attitudes on cyberspace and providing civil society with new reflexivity instruments of social and economic cooperation. New tools to estimate the impact of economic policies on social attitudes were also introduced.

The first part of the project assessed the causal effect of cooperation on economic decisions and happiness. More precisely, it looked at the factor of trust in economic exchanges and how cooperation affects happiness.

Project results were published in different academic journals and as working papers. One article posits that inherited trust explains an important part of economic development, by improving total factor productivity and the accumulation of human and physical capital.

Two journal articles report that government regulation on product and labour markets has a strong negative correlation with trust. In them, researchers tackle one of the central issues in research on political beliefs: why do people in countries with bad governments want more government intervention?

Using country- and individual-level data on trust and beliefs on the role of government and on changes in beliefs during the transition from socialism, researchers tested the implications of the model. The effects of trust and social capital on the design of welfare states and the prosocial foundations of cooperation in a peer production economy were also investigated.

The second part of the project focused on the effect of economic policies on social attitudes. Articles were published on the important economic determinants of cultural transmission and the effects of urban policy on the building of social trust among neighbours.

Scholars demonstrated the impact of education policy on the development of prosocial behaviour by using several data sets to show the effect of teaching practice on student beliefs and on the organisation of firms and institutions. Evidence shows that progressive education promotes social capital.

Finally, researchers analysed the long-term economic effects of early childhood intervention. Results showed that adults in the treated group have significantly higher labour market performance and more favourable social outcomes compared to the control group.

Related information


Cooperation, economics, institutions, TRUST, social attitudes, beliefs
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