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Reductions in Economic Inequality and Viewing Society as Fair Strengthen Political and Social Trust

New research from Economic Mobility Postdoc Efrain Garcia Sanchez and colleagues emphasizes the importance of both institutional change and citizens' responses.
Coins of various currencies
Credit: Steve Johnson/Unsplash

New research from Economic Mobility Postdoc Efraín García Sánchez and colleagues found that, in a sample of 18 Latin American countries over 23 years, increasing economic inequality led citizens to view the status quo as unfair, which reduced citizens’ trust in their governments and one another. “Building social and political trust requires structural changes that reduce inequality. People also need to see these changes as just and legitimate. Ultimately, increasing trust in political institutions and fellow citizens can create a more cohesive society,” García Sánchez says.

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Economic Inequality and Unfairness Evaluations of Income Distribution Negatively Predict Political and Social Trust: Evidence From Latin America Over 23 Years | Social Psychological and Personality Science