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Induced heterogeneity in trust experiments

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Author Info

  • Lisa Anderson

    ()

  • Jennifer Mellor

    ()

  • Jeffrey Milyo

    ()

Abstract

Several non-experimental studies claim that heterogeneity among individuals reduces trust. A few experimental studies have examined the effects of naturally-occurring differences among subjects on trusting behavior, and in contrast, most have not supported these claims. We adopt a novel approach by inducing heterogeneity among subjects in a canonical trust experiment. We accomplish this by varying the show-up payments given to subjects for participating in the experiment. We find that this induced inequality does not consistently affect first- or second-mover behavior in the classic trust game in the manner predicted by either previous theoretical work or empirical studies of survey-based measures of trust. Further, the effect of inequality on trust, in terms of both sign and significance, depends on whether show-up payments are awarded publicly or privately. Copyright Economic Science Association 2006

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Experimental Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 223-235

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Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:223-235

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

Related research

Keywords: Trust; Social capital; Inequality; Experiment;

References

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  1. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Shaun Hargreaves Heap & Jonathan Tan & Daniel Zizzo, 2013. "Trust, inequality and the market," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(3), pages 311-333, March.
  2. Xiao, Erte & Bicchieri, Cristina, 2008. "When Equality Trumps Reciprocity: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," MPRA Paper 9375, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Jordahl, Henrik, 2007. "Inequality and Trust," Working Paper Series 715, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Ben Greiner & Axel Ockenfels & Peter Werner, 2007. "The Dynamic Interplay of Inequality and Trust - An Experimental Study," Working Paper Series in Economics 37, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
  6. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Trust, Welfare States and Income Equality: What Causes What?," Working Paper Series 994, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  7. Smith, Alexander, 2011. "Income inequality in the trust game," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 54-56, April.
  8. Xiao, Erte & Bicchieri, Cristina, 2010. "When equality trumps reciprocity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 456-470, June.
  9. Lisa R. Anderson & Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 2005. "Did the Devil Make Them Do It? The Effects of Religion in Public Goods and Trust Games," Working Papers 20, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

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