Bloomberg: Dashed Expectations Power White Anger

Findings from the Financial Trust Index; Survey Conducted by SSRS

During the 2016 election, people often debated whether Trump’s supporters were motivated by economic anxiety. Plenty of evidence showed that Trump voters weren’t doing worse, economically speaking, than those who voted for Hillary Clinton. But that might not be the whole story.

To see why, take a look at the Financial Trust Index. A University of Chicago Booth School of Business team, headed by Paola Sapienza and Luigi Zingales, tracks how much people trust various economic entities — banks, the stock market, mutual funds and large corporations. As you might expect, poor people tend to have less trust in the economy than do the wealthy. But in most of the years since 2008, non-Hispanic white Americans — who formed Trump’s main support base — reported less trust than nonwhites. That’s surprising, given that whites tend to earn more and have higher levels of wealth.