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Measuring people's trust

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Author Info

  • John Ermisch
  • Diego Gambetta
  • Heather Laurie
  • Thomas Siedler
  • S. C. Noah Uhrig

Abstract

We measure trust and trustworthiness in British society with a newly designed experiment using real monetary rewards and a sample of the British population. The study also asks the typical survey question that aims to measure trust, showing that it does not predict 'trust' as measured in the experiment. Overall, about 40% of people were willing to trust a stranger in our experiment, and their trust was rewarded half of the time. Analysis of variation in the trust behaviour in our survey suggests that trusting is more likely if people are older, their financial situation is either 'comfortable' or 'difficult' compared with 'doing alright' or 'just getting by', they are a homeowner or they are divorced, separated or never married compared with those who are married or cohabiting. Trustworthiness also is more likely among subjects who are divorced or separated relative to those who are married or cohabiting, and less likely among subjects who perceive their financial situation as 'just getting by' or 'difficult'. We also analyse the effect of attitudes towards risks on trust. Copyright (c) 2009 Royal Statistical Society.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 172 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 749-769

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:172:y:2009:i:4:p:749-769

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References

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  10. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
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  12. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2004. "Trust, risk and betrayal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 467-484, December.
  13. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
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  16. Peter Morrison, 1971. "Chronic movers and the future redistribution of population: A longitudinal analysis," Demography, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 171-184, May.
  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-34 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
  19. Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2006. "People's Trust: The Design of a Survey-based Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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