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Does Social Trust Increase Support for Free Trade? Evidence from a Field Survey Experiment in Vietnam

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Document pages: 52 pages

Abstract: While most explanations of individual trade policy preferences center on the redistributional implications of trade, recent research is particularly interested in the role of non-economic determinants. We join the latter line of research by studying the effect of social trust. Our research breaks new methodological ground by testing the hypothesized causal effect of social trust in a field survey experiment that combines a voluntary contribution game with a survey. The empirical work was carried out in Hanoi, Vietnam. The findings offer robust support for the argument that social trust has a positive causal effect on public support for international trade.

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