Trust thy neighbor?

Coach Thomas Doll falls into the upraised arms of his players as part of an exercise to build team trust during a training session for Hamburger SV on August 7, 2006.

An important part of doing business with someone is trusting them. Research published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics looks at how much business people in different European countries trust each other.

The results: Almost everyone has a high level of trust for the Swedes and almost not very much trust for the Italians.

The table below displays the average level of trust from citizens of a country (rows) to citizens of a country (columns). 1 =  no trust at all; 2 = not very much trust; 3 = some trust; 4 =  a lot of trust.

Guiso, Luigi, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales. 2009. “Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 124(4): 1095-1131.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
Log in to post1 Comment

Very interesting piece, but I think what you've circled indicates that Swedes are more trusting and Italians least trusting. The means in the bottom row estimate the level of trust everyone has of a country. Danes seem to be most trusted, and Italians, the least. Thanks for the link to the original article.

With Generous Support From...