Cooperation without Culture? The Null Effect of Generalized Trust on Intentional Homicide: A Cross-National Panel Analysis, 1995–2009
Sociologists, political scientists, and economists all suggest that culture plays a pivotal role in the development of large-scale cooperation. In this study, I used generalized trust as a measure of culture to explore if and how culture impacts intentional homicide, my operationalization of cooperation. I compiled multiple cross-national data sets and used pooled time-series linear regression, single-equation instrumental-variables linear regression, and fixed- and random-effects estimation techniques on an unbalanced panel of 118 countries and 232 observations spread over a 15-year time period. Results suggest that culture and large-scale cooperation form a tenuous relationship, while economic factors such as development, inequality, and geopolitics appear to drive large-scale cooperation.