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The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior$
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David C. Rose

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199781744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199781744.001.0001

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(p.158) Chapter 9 Trust
The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior

David C. Rose

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares trust behavior derived from moral beliefs that comport with the moral foundation to trust behavior as conceived under existing theories of trust. It shows that whereas conventional theories do not square well with existing empirical evidence at either the micro or macro level, trust behavior rooted in moral beliefs that comport with the moral foundation does. It discusses the implications this book has for arguments made by institutional theorists against the relevance of trust. It shows why, if a society has a sufficiently high proportion of individuals who abide by the moral foundation, it will enjoy a condition of generalized trust, making it possible for its people to trust each other at the micro level while at the same time making it possible for trust-dependent institutions to exist at the macro level.

Keywords:   generalized trust, institutional theorists, moral beliefs, trust

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