Een longitudinale studie naar het afgenomen vertrouwen gedurende de coronapandemie

Translated title of the contribution: A longitudinal study of decreased trust during the corona pandemic

Erik Snel, Godfried Engbersen, Peter van der Heijden, Hanne Oberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A longitudinal study of decreased trust during the corona pandemic This study provides a longitudinal analysis of the strong decline in trust in the government in the Netherlands during the corona pandemic in 2020/2021. At the start of the pandemic, 69 per cent of the Dutch population had (much) trust in the government. One and a half year later this was declined to only 29 per cent. Using multilevel regression we studied individual level differences in both the level of trust and the degree of decline during the corona pandemic. We found various differences in the level of trust, particularly a strong effect of education: higher and intermediate educated people have more trust than lower educated respondents. All time varying variables also correlated with trust: the more people have troubles with making ends meet, have health problems and the higher their discontent with corona policies, the lower their trust in the government. Perceived threat by COVID increases trust in the government. Surprisingly, we found no individual differences in the decline of trust. Irrespective of their education, migration background or other characteristics, the decline in trust during the corona pandemic is more or less the same for all respondents. However, we found that the average development of trust is related with several time varying variables. There is a clear relation between the steep decline in trust and the growing discontent with corona policies. The decline in trust is also related to the perceived threat of the virus. Particularly in the later phase of the pandemic, both the perceived threat and the level of trust dropped. The average development of trust seemed not related to economic security and health problems during the pandemic. Although the perceived health remained rather constant during the pandemic and respondents experienced less problems with making ends meet, partly because the extensive economic support of the Dutch government, the level of trust in the government nevertheless fell.

Translated title of the contributionA longitudinal study of decreased trust during the corona pandemic
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)369-394
Number of pages26
JournalMens & Maatschappij
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • COVID19 pandemic
  • discontent
  • longitudinal analysis
  • political trust
  • social inequality


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