Ethnicity and trust: Evidence from Russia

Donna Bahry, Mikhail Kosolapov, Polina Kozyreva, Rick K. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The willingness to trust strangers has been associated with a variety of public benefits, from greater civic-mindedness and more honest government to higher rates of economic growth, and more. But a growing body of research finds that such generalized trust is far more common in ethnically homogeneous than in more diverse societies. Ethnic difference is believed to breed more particularistic, ingroup ties, thus undermining both generalized and cross-ethnic trust. We argue that this image is too narrow, and we propose a broader model to identify the factors that give rise to cross-ethnic trust. Using data from two minority regions of Russia, we find considerable support for the model. We also find that high ingroup or particularistic trust is no barrier to faith in another ethnic group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-532
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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