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Trust, ICT and income: their relationships and implications

Eun G. Park (School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Wankeun Oh (Department of Economics, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship and interactions among trust, information and communication technologies (ICT) and country income levels.


This study adopts the standardization method by Osberg and Sharpe (2005) and analyzes the changes in global trends, coefficient of variations, and correlations. The statistical data consist of panel data for 28 countries from 2007 to 2014.


Trust in people (TP) and institutional confidence (IC) have different shapes of movement over the period and the change speed of IC has decreased much faster than that of TP. While TP in high income countries is positioned in relatively high ranks, IC of middle income countries tends to be ranked in higher ranks. While the telecommunication infrastructure index (TII) has continuously increased in all countries for the entire period, open service index (OSI) has not increased at the same rate since improving OSI is not easier than TII. As OSI increases, IC may affect an increase to a certain point and then decrease in an inverted U-shape. The result of this relationship emphasizes on the importance of OSI along with TII in building trust, particularly with institutions.

Research limitations/implications

The examination of the relationship of trust, ICT and income in quantifiable values can contribute to understanding the direction of movement and change speed toward trust building with people and institutions.

Practical implications

To promote levels of trust, countries should consider different strategies for growing TP and institutions and concentrate on improving ICT-mediated services more than installing ICT facilities.


Quantifying the interactions of a qualitative concept of trust with ICT facilities, online services, and income levels presents an in-depth analysis of TP and with institutions.



Wankeun Oh is grateful for the financial support from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund 2018.


Park, E.G. and Oh, W. (2018), "Trust, ICT and income: their relationships and implications", Online Information Review, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 268-281.



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