Does education foster trust? Evidence from compulsory schooling reform in the UK
Economics of Education Review Volume 70, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Although many studies document that education and trust are positively correlated, few studies examine whether this correlation represents a causal effect. This paper fills in the gap with data from the British Social Attitudes Survey. Firstly, using the OLS method, this paper finds that education and the three measures of trust—trust in people, trust in politicians, and trust in government—are all positively and significantly correlated. Secondly, to examine whether this correlation represents a causal effect, this paper exploits exogenous variation in educational attainment induced by the compulsory schooling reform in 1972. The regression discontinuity estimates suggest that the effects of education on the three measures of trust are all small and statistically insignificant. The findings imply that the OLS estimates may suffer from omitted variable bias and the effects of education on trust may be small.
Yang, S. (2019). Does education foster trust? Evidence from compulsory schooling reform in the UK. Economics of Education Review, 70(1), 48-60. Elsevier Ltd.