Explaining the Relationship between Social Trust and Value Similarity: The Case of Estonia

Author:Mai Beilmann, Laur Lilleoja

The article is dedicated to explaining why value similarity fosters generalised social trust in high-trust societies. Previous findings by Beilmann and Lilleoja suggest that value similarity is more important in generating individual-level social trust in countries where the overall levels of social trust are higher, while in countries with a low level of social trust, congruity of the personal... (see full summary)

Mai Beilmann Laur Lilleoja
University of Tartu Tallinn University
Explaining the Relationship
between Social Trust
and Value Similarity:
The Case of Estonia
1. Introduction
Generalised social trust has been proven to be extremely bene cial both at country and at community level:
it is related to many positive outcomes, among them good governance and an e ective state*1,*2,*3, eco-
nomic growth and good economic performance*4,*5,*6, crime reduction*7,*8, and greater overall happiness
and well-being*9,*10. These predominantly positive societal outcomes of generalised social trust result from
one important quality of trust – it facilitates co-operation between people and among groups of people.
Many social theorists have considered trust an important building block of society precisely because society
could not function without co-operation. N. Luhmann*11, for example, is one of those authors who empha-
sises the importance of trust as a facilitator of co-operation and a major contributor to the maintenance of
social order at the micro level.
E.M. Uslaner. The Moral Foundations of Trust. New York: Cambridge University Press . – DOI: https://doi.org/./
P.F. Whiteley. Economic growth and social capital. Political Studies  (), pp. . – DOI: https://doi.
S. Zmerli, K. Newton. Social trust and attitudes toward democracy. Public Opinion Quarterly  (), pp. . – DOI:
I. Neira et al. Social capital and growth in European regions. Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies  () / ,
pp. .
E.M. Uslaner (see Note ).
P.F. Whiteley (see Note ).
S. Akcomak, B. ter Weel. The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands. Regional Science and Urban
Economics  (), pp. . – DOI: https://doi.org/./j.regsciurbeco....
P.F. Whiteley (see Note ).
R. Inglehart. Trust, well-being and democracy. In M.E. Warren (ed.). Democracy and Trust. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni-
versity Press , pp. . – DOI: https://doi.org/./cbo..
 R.D. Putnam. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster . –
DOI: https://doi.org/./..
 N. Luhmann. Trust and Power. New York: Wiley .

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