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Trust, family, and education

Published Online:pp 216-230

The capacity to enhance people's general trust, which is proved to be important for economic growth and individual well-being, is usually attributed to the family and education. This paper first draws attention to two awkward facts: that placing a great deal of importance on family ties has detrimental effects on general trust (although it brings well-being); and that education tends to be designed to enhance competition rather than cooperation. The paper then proposes people's 'social skill' as the target variable for research and policy, since it is both proximate to general trust and can be learned as an enjoyable experience, especially, but not only, in the first part of people's lives. The family and education should be thus orientated according to this new specific perspective.


general trust, family ties, education, social skills, well-being