Does Education Impact In-group Trust and Out-group Trust Differently: New Evidence from China

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Does Education Impact In-group Trust and Out-group Trust Differently: New Evidence from China
Stream: Education, Sustainability & Society: Social Justice, Development & Political Movements
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Zhuang Hao, Huazhong Agricultural University, China
Zerui Tian, Columbia University, United States


Existing research has intensively examined how and to what extent education impacts social trust, however, few distinguish between in-group trust and out-group trust. Utilizing exogenous shock provided by two largest educational reforms in modern China, this paper identifies the causal effect of education on both in-group trust and out-group trust. Analysis based on the 2015 and 2017 waves of the China General Social Survey shows that one additional year of schooling lowers the probability of Chinese individuals to trust others within their close social circle by about 1.2%. However, education rarely changes trust in strangers among Chinese. Empirical evidence indicates that risk awareness may be mediating approximately 7.3% of education’s effect on trust. Furthermore, this paper also explores the heterogeneity in the education-trust relation on the axis of neighborhood diversity, differentiated by migration-inflow and migration-outflow societies. Additional education may reduce in-group trust more in diverse societies than in homogeneous societies. This paper contributes to the literature by utilizing a novel identification strategy and more recent dataset to clarify the distinct effects of education on in-group and out-group trust.

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