Unconventional determinants of greenhouse gas emissions : the role of trust

Carattini, Stefano ; Baranzini, Andrea ; Roca, Jordi

Social norms have been included in the theory of collective action to overcome difficulties in explaining why commons may perform better when self-regulated. The role of trust has been identified in several contexts of local social dilemma, but only recently has been extended to global commons, based on large descriptive evidence collected by Elinor Ostrom. However, no quantitative evidence was... Plus

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    Summary
    Social norms have been included in the theory of collective action to overcome difficulties in explaining why commons may perform better when self-regulated. The role of trust has been identified in several contexts of local social dilemma, but only recently has been extended to global commons, based on large descriptive evidence collected by Elinor Ostrom. However, no quantitative evidence was available until now. Using a dataset of 29 European countries over the period 1990-2007, we provide empirical evidence in favor of the role of trust in global dilemma. We end up with a negative impact of trust on greenhouse gas emissions, whose extrapolation to Spain would imply a reduction in emissions of 12.5% if Spaniards would trust each other as Swedish people do.