Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Social Equity and Trust in Government

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 9:10 AM
Orchid B (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Yunsoo Lee, Rutgers University
The decline of pulbic trust is the most noticeable trends in public opinion (Abramson & Finifter, 1981; Brehm & Rahn, 1997; Welch, Hinnant, & Moon, 2005).The consequences of this distrust with regard to the functioning of states and administrations is various from failing public sector recruitment, tax evasion and a decline in law-abiding behavior, increased need for public administration to invest in enforcement and control mechanisms, to difficulties in reaching less well-off groups with government programs (Bouckaert, Van de Walle, and Kampen, 2005).  For this reason, many scholars attempt to find a way to rekindle trust in government and pinpoint that government performance is a strong candidate to reinvigorate the trust in government (e.g., Hetherington, 1998; Wang & Van Wart, 2007).

Most government performance indices are based on quantifiable efficiency or effectiveness. However, Frederickson (1974) argues that social equity is important as efficiency and effectiveness. Riccucci (2009) considers justice, fairness, and equality as components of social equity. If government performance includes social equity, the span of performance would be enlarged. However, performance literature shows disproportionately little interest in the impact of social equity on trust in government. Few studies explain the impact of social equity on trust in government. In this sense, the purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of social equity on trust in government by using General Social Survey. By doing so, a comprehensive understanding of social equity and trust in government can be acquired. The preliminary results indicate that government must pay attention to social equity because it positively affects trust in government.

Full Paper: