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Performance Still Matters

Performance Still Matters What explains low levels of trust in government institutions in democratizing Latin American countries? The authors examine this question in the Dominican Republic, employing data from three surveys conducted over 1994 to 2001. Their analysis finds that trust in government institutions is shaped primarily by perceptions of economic and political performance by government. There is little evidence of a relationship between civic engagement and institutional trust, and no relationship between democratic values and institutional trust. They find a curvilinear effect between socioeconomic status and institutional trust, with middle-sector groups significantly less trusting of government institutions than either the poor or the wealthy. Age has a nonlinear effect as older generations, who experienced authoritarianism as children, are considerably more trusting of democratic institutions, contradicting predictions by culturalist early-life socialization arguments. The authors conclude that low trust per se is not the major challenge for governance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Political Studies SAGE

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References (69)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0010-4140
eISSN
1552-3829
DOI
10.1177/0010414005281933
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What explains low levels of trust in government institutions in democratizing Latin American countries? The authors examine this question in the Dominican Republic, employing data from three surveys conducted over 1994 to 2001. Their analysis finds that trust in government institutions is shaped primarily by perceptions of economic and political performance by government. There is little evidence of a relationship between civic engagement and institutional trust, and no relationship between democratic values and institutional trust. They find a curvilinear effect between socioeconomic status and institutional trust, with middle-sector groups significantly less trusting of government institutions than either the poor or the wealthy. Age has a nonlinear effect as older generations, who experienced authoritarianism as children, are considerably more trusting of democratic institutions, contradicting predictions by culturalist early-life socialization arguments. The authors conclude that low trust per se is not the major challenge for governance.

Journal

Comparative Political StudiesSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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