Trust and CO emissions: Cooperation on a global scale

Ara Jo, Stefano Carattini

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Although the effect of trust on local cooperation is well-documented, little is known about how trust influences global cooperation. Building on a large body of theoretical and experimental literature, we hypothesize that trust shared in a society may positively affect global cooperative behavior. We provide empirical evidence in the context of climate change that an increase in trust is associated with a larger reduction in CO2 emissions across countries, controlling for country fixed effects and a number of time-varying factors. As a falsification test, we estimate the relationship on an earlier period when there was no concern of man-made climate change (before the 1980s) and find no impact of trust on CO2 emissions during that period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-937
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Early online date16 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2021


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