New evidence on the durability of social norms

John Helliwell, Shun Wang, Jinwen Xu, 12 March 2014



Recent studies find that individuals’ social norms – as evidenced by their opinions and behaviour – can be transmitted from one generation to the next within the same cultural setting (Algan and Cahuc 2010, Bjørnskov 2012, Dohmen et al. 2012, Guiso et al. 2006, Rainer and Siedler 2009, Rice and Feldman 1997).

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Migration
Tags: Culture, immigration, institutions, migration, social attitudes, social norms, trust

Global and Eurozone imbalances: A question of civic capital?

Sascha Bützer, Christina Jordan, Livio Stracca, 23 November 2013



Macroeconomic imbalances have been the subject of much debate in recent years, and are still in the spotlight. Before and during the financial crisis, a lot of attention was devoted to global imbalances – in particular to the persistent current-account deficits of some countries (such as the US) and the persistent surpluses of others (such as China).

Topics: Europe's nations and regions, International trade
Tags: civic capital, eurozone, global imbalances, trust, World Values Survey

Unemployment, labour-market flexibility and IMF advice: Moving beyond mantras

Olivier Blanchard, Florence Jaumotte, Prakash Loungani, 18 October 2013



Growth in advanced economies is gaining some speed. The IMF projects these economies will grow 2% next year, up from an expected 1.2% this year. The average unemployment rate in advanced economies is expected to inch down from its peak of 8.3% in 2010 to 8% next year. This is progress, but it is clearly not enough. The state of labour markets remains dismal for a number of reasons.

Topics: Labour markets, Welfare state and social Europe
Tags: collective bargaining, EZ crisis, IMF, institutions, labour-market flexibility, trust, unemployment, Unemployment insurance

Understanding trust: The role of false consensus

Jeffrey V. Butler, Paola Giuliano, Luigi Guiso, 18 December 2012



Every day millions of people deal with others they know nothing or very little about. A Norwegian tourist buys a carpet in Casablanca. A woman in Mexico City hails a cab on the street. A person with a never-before-experienced eye pain asks an ophthalmologist for advice.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: Culture, false consensus, trust

Crisis and public support for the euro

Felix Roth, Lars Jonung, Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann, 5 November 2012



The euro is a unique currency in at least two ways. It is the first time that a group of democratic countries have abolished their national currencies and replaced them with a single currency that is managed by a common central bank, the ECB. The euro is also unique in that data on public attitudes towards the euro have been collected for more than 20 years (Eurobarometer 2012).

Topics: EU institutions, Europe's nations and regions
Tags: euro, Eurozone crisis, public opinion, trust

Teaching practices and social capital

Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc, Andrei Shleifer, 24 October 2011

Vox readers can download CEPR Discussion Paper 8625 for free here. To learn more about subscribing to CEPR's Discussion Paper Series, please visit the CEPR website.

Journalists are entitled to free DP downloads on request; please contact To learn more about subscribing to CEPR's Discussion Paper Series, please visit the CEPR website.

Topics: Education
Tags: education, interpersonal cooperation, progressive eduction, social capital, teaching practices, trust

How the long-gone Habsburg Empire is still visible in Eastern European bureaucracies today

Sascha O Becker, Ludger Woessmann, 31 May 2011



Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom emphasised that trust in the key institutions of the state, and their proper functioning, is crucial in facilitating collective action (Ostrom 1998). The courts and the police as the enforcers of rules in collective action have a crucial role to play in supporting trust in interactions between citizens and the state.

Topics: Economic history, Europe's nations and regions, Frontiers of economic research, Institutions and economics
Tags: Corruption, economic institutions, Habsburg Empire, trust

How to rebuild trust

Gilles Saint-Paul, Giancarlo Corsetti, John Hassler, Luigi Guiso, Hans-Werner Sinn, Jan-Egbert Sturm, Xavier Vives, Michael P. Devereux, 21 March 2010



For all its mathematical models, finance is not physics. In fact, it runs pretty much on faith (Carlin et al. 2009), and can give rise to highly emotional reactions. This was much in evidence during the latest financial crisis.

Topics: Financial markets
Tags: financial regulation, global crisis, trust

To trust or not to trust: The answer lies somewhere in the middle

Paola Giuliano, Luigi Guiso, Jeffrey V. Butler, 8 October 2009



On June 2009, Bernie Madoff was condemned to 150 years in prison for what federal agents have described as one of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, which could leave investors with billions in losses. Swindlers like Mr Madoff are not new in history. Think about Mr Ponzi himself, or the Victorian example of Mr Merdle in Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: Culture, trust

The crisis and citizens’ trust in central banks

Daniel Gros, Felix Roth, 10 September 2009



Central banks seem to be enjoying a “good crisis”. They have lowered interest rates to near zero and used unconventional approaches to stabilise financial systems.

Topics: Macroeconomic policy
Tags: Central Banks, trust

Vox eBooks