Gen(d)eralized trust: Women, work, and trust in strangers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article deals with the question as to whether gender equality in labour force participation affects generalized trust. Following the seminal work of Rothstein and Uslaner, a first hypothesis maintains that gender employment equality positively impacts generalized trust. Based on insights from intergroup contact theory and the affect theory of social exchange, a second hypothesis argues that the relationship between gender employment equality and generalized trust holds only for women. Bayesian multilevel regression analysis based on cross-national survey data from the first five rounds of the European Social Survey (2002-2010) supports the latter hypothesis, showing that a country's level of gender equality in labour force participation mediates the association between gender and generalized trust. In contrast, there is no evidence for a general impact of gender employment equality on trust in strangers.


External organisations
  • Umeå University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-386
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes