Social trust - The Nordic Gold?
Interpersonal trust is among the highest in the world in Scandinavia. Since everything in a society functions better with high trust lowering all transaction costs trustful Scandinavi-ans is truly a Nordic Gold. However, results from Swedish studies going back to the 1980s and up to the present day indicate a possible small recent dip, and that there are some social and political groups with distinctly lower and in some cases diminishing trust levels. These groups tend socially to be welfare dependent and more vulnerable as well as politically distant from established society. We talk about groups like the unemployed, people with poor health, early retirees, and people supported by welfare benefits. Politi-cally, sympathizers with the populist, nationalist Sweden Democrats as well as citizens without any party preference tend to have markedly lower levels of interpersonal trust. Explaining the results we propose a Corruption-Trust theory focusing on how people per-ceive how societal institutions function and public officials behave. People draw personal conclusions from the actions they observe – or think they observe - in others.