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Trustworthy by Convention

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  • M. Bigoni
  • S. Bortolotti
  • M. Casari
  • D. Gambetta

Abstract

Social life offers innumerable instances in which trust relations involve multiple agents. In an experiment, we study a new setting called Collective Trust Game where there are multiple trustees, who may have an incentive to coordinate their actions. Trustworthiness has also a strategic motivation, and the trusters' decision depends upon their beliefs about the predominant convention with regard to trustworthiness. In this respect, the Collective Trust Games offers a richer pattern of behavior than dyadic games. We report that the levels of trustworthiness are almost thirty percentage points higher when strategic motivations are present rather than not. Higher levels of trustworthiness also led to higher levels of trust. Moreover, strategic motives appear as a major drive for trustees, comparable in size to positive reciprocity, and more important than concerns for equality.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp827.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp827

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Multidimensional trust
    by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2012-05-26 00:53:07
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Cited by:
  1. M. Bigoni & S. Bortolotti & M. Casari & D. Gambetta & F. Pancotto, 2013. "Cooperation Hidden Frontiers: The Behavioral Foundations of the Italian North-South Divide," Working Papers wp882, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

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