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Does trust extend beyond the village? Experimental trust and social distance in Cameroon

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  • Alvin Etang
  • David Fielding

    ()

  • Stephen Knowles

Abstract

In this paper we use experimental data collected in rural Cameroon to quantify the effect of social distance on trust and altruism. Our measure of social distance is one that is relevant to everyday economic interactions: subjects in a Trust Game play with fellow villagers or with someone from a different village. We find that Senders in a Trust Game pass significantly more money to Recipients from their own village than to Recipients from a different village. To test for the possibility that Senders are motivated by unconditional kindness, they also play a Triple Dictator Game. We find that Senders pass significantly more money on average in the Trust Game than in the Triple Dictator Game, confirming that transfers in the Trust Game are partly motivated by Trust. However, there is also a social distance effect in the Triple Dictator Game, and around one third of the social distance effect in the Trust Game is due to greater unconditional kindness to fellow villagers. Results from a Risk Game suggest that Trust Game transfers are uncorrelated with attitudes to risk.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-010-9255-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 15-35

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:14:y:2011:i:1:p:15-35

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102888

Related research

Keywords: Experiment; Trust game; Dictator game; Risk game; Social distance; Cameroon; C93; O12; Z13;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Garapin, A. & Muller, L. & Rahali, B., 2013. "Does trust mean giving and not risking? Experimental evidence from the trust game," Working Papers 2013-12, Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL).
  2. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2013. "Neighbourhood effects and social behaviour: the case of irrigated and rainfed farmeres in Bohol, the Philippines," MPRA Paper 50162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Omar Sene, 2012. "Trust as a Proxy for the Ability to Produce Local Public Goods: Testing Different Measures," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12041, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  4. Alvin Etang & David Fielding & Stephen Knowles, 2011. "What Sort of People Vote Expressively?," Working Papers 1101, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2011.
  5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00717141 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Fairley, Kim & Sanfey, Alan & Vyrastekova, Jana & Weitzel, Utz, 2012. "Social risk and ambiguity in the trust game," MPRA Paper 42302, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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