By Cene Bavec, 2007


Based on the desk research, the paper provides an empirical insight into correlations between some social values and five selected economic performance indicators for 20 European Union countries. We concentrated on Composite Trust. This is a one-dimensional representation of citizens’ trust on national level and is calculated from three different types of trust that van Oorschot and Arts (2005) derived from the European Values Study (2001). We confirmed correlations between trust and economic performance, but we have also noticed a very different pattern for the old and the new eu member states. The old eu member states show a positive correlation, on the other hand there is no such correlation for the new member states. A plausible hypothesis is that the same level of Composite Trust causes different effects in different societies and economies.We could also assume that social structures in the new eu member states are still distorted and are not in the equilibrium which characterizes eu countries with long democratic and market economy traditions. Economic performance in the new eu member states is based mainly on economic and not on social incentives. On the other hand, correlation between trust and innovativeness is strong in all studied countries. It confirms many studies which see trust as a fundamental social enabler and stimulator for innovativeness.