Political trust at the local level has received little attention in research. It is known that political trust is important since it indicates the health of a democratic system and citizens’ satisfaction of the government. However, an education gap has been observed in political trust, among other political attitudes, which causes the lower educated to be less trusting in the political system. An additional effect on this education gap could be the Great Recession of 2008. This economic crisis would have a negative effect on political trust: the declining economic performance and rising unemployment would make citizens feel their government is not acting in their favour. Especially the lower educated, who are more vulnerable to economic change, would be affected by this. To research the relationship with education and the moderating effect of the economic crisis, political trust on the local level will be investigated in this study. The focus will be on the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The Rotterdam Neighbourhood Profile dataset with waves from 2008-2019 was used in the multiple regression analysis. The results only show a small education gap in local political trust, with the higher educated being the most trusting and, surprisingly, the middle educated as least trusting in the local government. The recession had a minimal effect on the levels of trust, and no moderation effect was found. Possible explanations are discussed as well as suggestions for future research, as the concept of local political trust still needs development.

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Gijs Custers, Wenda Doff
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Van der Meer, R. (2021, June 20). The unexplained trust in local politics: the effect of the Great Recession in 2008 on the education gap in local political trust in Rotterdam. Sociology. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/61630