Comparative political studies vol:42 issue:2 pages:198-223
While most current research documents a negative relation between ethnic diversity and generalized trust, it has to be acknowledged that these results often originate from one-country analyses in North America. In this article, attitudinal measurements from the European Social Survey are combined with Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development data on migration pattems, thus examining the relationship between diversity and trust in a comparative manner across 20 European countries. More fine-grained measurements of diversity (including type and rise of diversity over time and legal status of immigrants) are included in a multilevel model. At the individual level, most of the familiar relations were confirmed. At the country level, hardly any indicators for migration or diversity proved to be strongly and consistently related to generalized trust. Results suggest the pessimistic conclusions about the negative effects of ethnic diversity on generalized trust cannot be confirmed at the aggregate level across European countries.