Recent trend data from the Edelman Trust Barometer series suggests Australia, along with some other western democracies, is becoming a low-trust society in regard to its major institutions -- especially its politicians and the media. This has potential ramifications for economic growth, which is stronger in high-trust societies where complex social and legal mechanisms aren't needed to ensure basic transactions and contracts work.

There are non-economic consequences, however, that seem to accompany the diminution of trust. A 2010 study of a number of different countries found that low levels of trust tended to encourage demand for greater economic intervention by government: