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Exploring the Trust-Prosperity Link

The Big Think profiles Paul Zak, a neuroeconomist and Freakonomics guest blogger whose research has focused primarily on oxytocin,?a chemical that’s “critical to creating and sustaining trust among people.” Zak has even explored the relationship between trust and national prosperity: “Countries in which trust is high have effective governments, says Zak: ‘They have very tight social structures, people interact very nicely with each other, they don’t have a lot of divisions.'” Zak’s prediction for China: “China, for example, has markedly high levels of trust, yet the market-oriented way in which the nation is leaning will, according to Zak, build the economic-led trust around individuals. This should in turn loosen the centralized authority in favor of individual, trust-led market commerce.” (HT: Janelle Kaalund) [%comments]