We study the causal relationship between social and political trust in a low trust society, a setting where this topic has received very little attention. We focus on contemporary Chile, a relatively consolidated new democracy lacking many of the conditions that fosters trust such as high socioeconomic equality, weak social divisions, or universal welfare policies. Our empirical analysis is based on a 4-wave panel survey applied to a representative sample of 2000 Chilean adults interviewed face to face each year between 2016 and 2019. Based on statistical models with varying specifications and assumptions, we find support for the institutionalist view that claims that political trust exercises a positive influence over social trust. However, contrary to recent findings for some European democracies (Sønderskov & Dinesen 2016, Seifert 2018), we also find that social trust positively affects political trust. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between both types of trust travels to different political settings, and that there is no minimum threshold required in levels of trust for this relationship to emerge.
Keywords Social trust · Political trust · Linear dynamic panel models · Chile
Como citar: Bargsted, M., Ortiz, C., Cáceres, I. et al. Social and Political Trust in a Low Trust Society. Polit Behav (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-021-09762-2