In this article, the authors evaluate the origins of generalized trust. In addition to examining individual-level determinants, the analytic focus is on the political-institutional context. In contrast to most of the analyses to date, the authors conduct hierarchical analyses of the World Values Surveys (1995-1997 and 1999-2001) to simultaneously test for differences among respondents in 58 countries and for variations in levels of trust between countries with different institutional configurations. In addition, the authors extend the institutional theory of trust by introducing the power-sharing quality of institutions—a rather neglected institutional dimension hitherto. With regard to the most important contextual factors, the authors find that countries whose authorities are seen as incorruptible, whose institutions of the welfare state reduce income disparities, and whose political interests are represented in a manner proportional to their weight have citizens who are more likely to place trust in one another.