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catalogue – 43669
Until 01.01.2019 - Scientific Yearbook of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

ISSN 2686-7206 (Print)

ISSN 2686-925X (Оnlinе)

Bo, Rothstein


Abstract: In the article, the theory of correlation between corruption and trust is substantiated. On a broad empirical basis, it is shown that the behavior of people in society, their ability to trust other people, and to observe the general rules of the game primarily depends on their beliefs about whether they can trust public institutions of the state. The author argues that the lack of trust in state institutions and public officials because of their corruptness and  dishonesty – irrespective of whether it is true or not – inevitably generates distrust at the interpersonal level. Consistently proving this thesis, the author distinguishes and describes three interrelated causal mechanisms that determine correlation between corruption and social trust: 1) the inference from public officials; 2) the inference from people in general, and 3) the inference from oneself. At the same time, the author’s theory ends up in the idea of human nature, the essence of which he sees in the pursuit of reciprocity. The idea of reciprocity implies that people always decide how to act relying on their beliefs about how the others will act in the future. Thus, if they believe that most of their fellow citizens cheat on taxes or bribe officials to obtain a desired benefit or advantage, they will act exactly in the same way in order not to lose. At the same time, the principle of reciprocity works when people believe that the others will likely observe the general rules of the game. It is the idea of reciprocity that allows the author to substantiate the thesis that the level of corruption and trust in society directly depends on the design of institutions.
Keywords: social trust, social capital, corruption, reciprocity, social traps.

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