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Understanding the Effects of Corruption and Political Trust on Willingness to Make Economic Sacrifices for Environmental Protection in a Cross-National Perspective


  • The author will share all data and coding with those wishing to replicate the study. The author thanks Ulf Bjereld, Sverker C. Jagers, Monika Bauhr, Henrik Oscarsson, Staffan Kumlin, Adam Shehata, and Ann-Sofie Isaksson for comments on earlier versions of this article.

Direct correspondence to Niklas Harring, Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sprangkullsgatan 19, P.O. Box 711, SE 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden 〈〉.



This study investigates, from a cross-national perspective, the determinants of public willingness to make economic sacrifices for environmental protection. Departing from the argument that corrupt institutions diminish the potential for social cooperation, it argues that earlier studies fail to stress the effect of corruption and political trust on people's attitudes.


A multilevel regression analysis is performed using data from the International Social Survey Programme.


The study shows that the willingness to make economic sacrifices for environmental protection is affected by individual political trust while it is hard to actually disentangle any contextual effects of corruption from other contextual effects.


Acknowledging the effects of political trust and corruption improves the discussion on country differences in willingness to make economic sacrifices for environmental protection.