Quality of local government and social trust in European cities
Communities are responsible for a range of public services and represent critical experiential contexts for social interactions between residents. However, the role of local governance and public service provision for creating social trust has received limited attention so far. This study examines how quality, efficiency and fairness of local public service provision relates to social trust. Using multilevel models on repeated cross-sectional survey data from the Quality of Life in European Cities project, we test the relationship between time-varying city-level indicators of quality of local government and social trust. The empirical results show that an increase in the dimension of local public service quality is substantially associated with an increase in social trust. We find improvements in sport and leisure facilities as well as the state of public spaces, streets and buildings to be particularly relevant.