The Procyclicality of Political Trust in Spain

Gonzalo Caballero (University of Vigo)
Marcos Álvarez-Díaz (University of Vigo)

Abstract: Political trust has been considered a necessary condition for good democratic and economic performance over time. The Great Recession that started in 2008 has deteriorated the level of political trust in several countries. Some authors have shown that those countries with an increasing level of unemployment experienced a sharp decline in political trust. In particular, the political distrust in Spain has suffered a high increase since the Great Recession. This paper tests the procyclicality of political trust in Spain through the analysis and modeling of the relationship between political trust and business cycle in Spain over the period 1996–2015. The cross correlation analysis, the Granger causality test, and the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach coherently conclude the procyclicality of political trust in Spain. The unemployment rate shows a negative and statistically significant influence on political trust four quarters later.