In collaboration with researchers in Sweden and Canada, I am engaged in a project entitled Three Worlds of Trust: A Longitudinal Study of Welfare States, Life-Course Risks, and Social Trust (PI: Jan Mewes), funded by Sweden's Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. We are seeking to understand how major life events may undermine or foster social trust, and how they may do so differently in different social contexts.
In previous research, I've found mixed evidence for the influential thesis that the foundation of trust is equality. Within the U.S., for example, Isaac Martin and I found that trust is higher in states with more equal distributions of income, but trust has declined no faster in states where income inequality has grown more than average. The jury's still out on this relationship.
"Environmental Attitudes and the Politics of Distrust," 2017, Sociology Compass
"Geoengineering, Moral Hazard, and Trust in Climate Science: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Britain," 2016, Climatic Change
"Trust and Public Support for Environmental Protection in Diverse National Contexts," 2016, Sociological Science
"Does Inequality Erode Social Trust? Results from Multilevel Models of U.S. States and Counties," 2013, Social Science Research (with Isaac Martin)