Government Performance, Corruption, and Political Trust in East Asia

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study examines the effects of government performance and corruption on political trust in three East Asian democracies-Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan-using the empirical implications of theoretical models (EITM) framework. Methods: I argue that political trust is a function of evaluation of government performance, perception of corruption, and their interaction, and provide an empirical test using the data from the Asian Barometer. Results: Empirically, I find that assessment of government performance is positively associated with political trust, whereas perception of corruption is negatively related to political trust. Furthermore, evaluation of government performance interacts with perception of corruption to negatively influence political trust. Conclusions: The findings demonstrate that the effects of evaluation of government performance and perception of corruption on political trust depend on the level of each other. Specifically, corruption can exacerbate the positive effect of government performance on political trust, but government performance cannot ameliorate the negative association between corruption and political trust. This study implies that in a democracy, the public expects its government to be not only competent but also ethical, and put more weight on ethics than on competence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-231
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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