A Measure of Trust: The Italian Regional Divide in a Latent Class Approach

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Social differences within countries may partly explain the lack of economic convergence and the persistence of regional disparities. The case of Italy is emblematic: economic gap between North and South remains at high levels with large differences in social capital and in trust. In this paper, we use the micro data from the ISTAT “Aspects of Daily Life” Survey to build a measure of “trust in others” and a measure of “trust in institutions” through a latent class model to attribute a trust score to the Italian households and the Italian regions and, in this way, to add elements of knowledge useful to policies. Our measures confirm a persistent territorial divide although the regional mapping appears more complex than the classical North–South partition. At last, a discussion on the household typology shows that the territorial gaps of trust persist even among households with similar socio-economic characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-242
Number of pages34
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

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