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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers if and how social and political trust are affected by policy outputs and outcomes related to the welfare state. We survey how (dis)similar explanatory variables, causal mechanisms, and methodology are across four accumulations of studies. Specifically, we discuss contextual factors in “normal times” as well as effects of economic crises. We also assess individual-level factors focusing on “performance evaluations” and “personal experiences” of welfare state aspects and institutions. Overall, we find evidence for relationships between welfare state related variables and both types of trust. However, the evidence currently seems somewhat stronger and broader for political trust, suggesting that welfare state consequences for trust may well be “more political than social.”

Keywords: social trust, political trust, welfare state, inequality, economic crisis, context/contextual effects, individual-level effects, causality

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