ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 1951-1966.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01951

• Editor-In-Chief Invited •     Next Articles

Marketization and interpersonal trust decline in China

XIN Ziqiang()   

  1. Department of Psychology at School of Sociology and Psychology, Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2019-08-22 Online:2019-12-15 Published:2019-10-21
  • Contact: XIN Ziqiang


During the process of marketization in China, we have to face a clear fact that interpersonal trust has been declining year after year. Although previous literature has repeatedly revealed the positive effect of trust on economic development, it seldom concerned the role of market economy development in trust changing. By integrating recent micro and macro evidence, it is found that marketization process has served as a role of inhibiting trust in China. Concretely, with the establishment of market economy in China, the impetus attribute of market has been fully developed by encouraging people to seek self-interest maximization and compete with each other, which activates their strong motivation to accumulate wealth on the one hand, whereas which also leads the popularity of homo economicus belief in people, and destructs those trustees’ optimistic expectation of human nature on the other hand. However, the corresponding market rules and social rules are too underdeveloped to protect trustees. As a result, the process of marketization has been eroding the basis of economic development: trust, and leads to the trust decline. Therefore, building rule-based and credit-based market economy is a necessary pathway to prevent trust from declining and rebuild a high-trust society.

Key words: interpersonal trust, market economy, marketization, rule, human nature

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