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Infectious diseases and interpersonal trust: international evidence

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2011.34037    5,496 Downloads   9,072 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between infectious disease and trust, hypothesizing a negative relationship. In- terpersonal trust is defined as the aggregate response that fellow citizens are trustworthy. We explore stigma as a channel in the relationship. We apply cross-country regression analysis on a sample of 54 countries. We test our hypothesis using data on selected infectious diseases from the World Health Statistics (WHS) published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and data on trust from the World Values Surveys (WVS). We create an index of infectious disease using factor analysis. The OLS regression equation includes control variables of income inequality, per capita income and human capital. The empirical results are considerably robust showing that higher cases of infectious diseases are negatively associated with trust when controlling for macroeconomic and social variables.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gonzalez-Medina, D. and V. Le, Q. (2011) Infectious diseases and interpersonal trust: international evidence. Health, 3, 206-210. doi: 10.4236/health.2011.34037.

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