The procyclicality of political trust in Spain

GT 1.8 Democracia y Crisis

Gonzalo Caballero Míguez (Universidad de Vigo)
Marcos Álvarez Díaz
Sesión 2
Día: martes,14 de julio de 2015
Hora: 09:00 a 11:00
Lugar: Aula 3

Nowadays, there is a relevant research agenda on the political, institutional and social effects of the present economic crisis. Stevenson and Wolfers (2011) show that trust in national governments declined more dramatically
in those countries in which unemployment had risen most sharply during the Great Recession. Recent literature
has shown how the Great Recession has implied high levels of mistrust in public institutions in the US, particularly in government institutions such as Congress. Stevenson and Wolfers (2011) analyzed the sharp decline in the confidence that American citizens have in the main institutions of the country, and show that much of the decline in trust may be attributed to the economic recession.

 The effects of the Spanish crisis on the political attitudes, assessment and trust are sufficiently relevant to be analyzed. The major research effort has been focused on the decline of political trust, and two different explanations have coexisted. Some authors consider that the increasing institutional distrust is mainly due to citizens perceptions that political system is not responsive to their demands (Torcal, 2014), while others contributions argue that the attitudinal trends is the result of the economic crisis (Polavieja, 2013). We are interested in providing new evidence and analysis on this debate.

This paper studies the procyclicality of political trust in Spain via a time-series approach for the period 1996-2014.  The decline of political trust is a relevant issue in the understanding of the relationship between economic recession and institucional crisis in Spain, and the causes of that decline are a relevant factor.  The main motivation is to explain and model the negative relationship between political trust and unemployment in Spain. We include information since the middle of the nineties until the present stage of economic recovery, therefore we can provide new results.

Palabras clave: Economic Crisis, Political Trust, . Spain.