S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Journal of International and Area Studies Journal of International and Area Studies vol.25 (2018)
The Great Recession, Government Performance, and Citizen Trust
- Lee, Yunsoo
- Issue Date
- Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
- Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.25 No.1, pp. 57-70
- his paper contains a portion of the authors dissertation presented for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Rutgers University.
- Performance theory holds that a high level of government performance leads to citizen trust. Nonetheless, the nature of the relationship between performance and trust continues to elude researchers because of the possibility of reverse causality. To strengthen the validity of causal inference, a researcher needs to look for naturally occurring changes in performance and in turn trust in government. The Great Recession that began around 2008 provides an opportunity to better demonstrate a causal relationship between government performance and citizen trust because it represents an exogenous shock to both the macro and micro performance of government, particularly in several southern European countries most profoundly affected by the crisis. Against this backdrop, the purpose of this article is to probe the causal relationship between government performance and citizen trust in Europe in the context of the Great Recession. This article compares before-after trends in citizen trust in government in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, with that of Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands using the European Social Survey. The difference-in-differences regression results show that the Great Recession had a dire influence on citizen trust in government, corroborating performance theory.
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