Discussion paper

DP18556 Temperatures and Trust

Using survey data on 24,266 individuals from 298 regions in Europe and central Asia, we show that within a country, individuals who experienced higher temperatures when growing up exhibit higher trust in people. Such individuals are also more trusting of domestic political and non-political institutions like parliament, national and local government, political parties, courts, banks, and religious organizations. Our evidence is less consistent with economic theories whereby harsh climatic conditions promote trust via the need to cooperate with strangers, and more consistent with neoscientific and social psychology theories whereby physical warmth promotes interpersonal trust and a sense of belonging.


Hansson, K and A Popov (2023), ‘DP18556 Temperatures and Trust‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18556. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18556