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    Trust and prosocial behaviour in a process of state capacity building: the case of the Palestinian Territories

    Andriani, Luca and Sabatini, F. (2015) Trust and prosocial behaviour in a process of state capacity building: the case of the Palestinian Territories. Journal of Institutional Economics 11 (04), pp. 823-846. ISSN 1744-1374.

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    Abstract

    This paper contributes to the literature by conducting the first empirical investigation into the determinants of prosocial behaviour in the Palestinian Territories, with a focus on the role of trust and institutions. Drawing on a unique dataset collected through the administration of a questionnaire to a representative sample of the population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, we have found that institutional trust is the strongest predictor of prosociality. This result suggests that, in collectivist societies with low levels of generalized trust, the lack of citizens’ confidence in the fairness and efficiency of public institutions may compromise social order. The strengthening of institutional trust may also reinforce prosocial behaviour in individualist societies, where a decline in generalized trust has been documented by empirical studies.

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