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Rational and Biased Trust

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  • Abigail Barr

Abstract

This paper investigates whether expectations of trustworthiness and resulting acts of trust accord with an objective model of trustworthiness or are biased. Combining experimental and survey data, I find that Ghanaian workers appropriately take account of the religiousness of trustees, but expect those with more children to be less as opposed to more trustworthy, and females to be less and the associationally active to be more trustworthy when they are neither. Trustors do not account for the negative impact on trustworthiness of various recent negative experiences and the positive impact of involvement in voluntary work, full time work, and indigenousness.

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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/2004-22text.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2004-22.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2004-22

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Keywords: trust; trustworthiness; expectations; field experiment; Ghana;

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References

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  1. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2004. "Wages and Reciprocity in the Workplace," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys," IZA Discussion Papers 715, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Bellemare, Charles & Kroger, Sabine, 2007. "On representative social capital," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 183-202, January.
  4. Alesina, Alberto F & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2000. "Who Trusts Others?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri & Verboven, Frank, 2002. "Discrimination and Nepotism: The Efficiency of the Anonymity Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 3175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Buchan, Nancy & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "The boundaries of trust: own and others' actions in the US and China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 485-504, December.
  7. Holm, Håkan, 2000. "What’s in a Name? - An ethnical discrimination experiment," Working Papers 2000:3, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Apr 2001.
  8. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
  9. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 2007. "Education and Social Capital," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, Winter.
  10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  12. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharn, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 875, The University of Melbourne.
  13. 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.
    • Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L. & Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
  15. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  16. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
  17. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,24, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  18. Lazzarini, S. G. & Madalozzo, R. C & Artes, R. & Siqueira, J. O., 2004. "Measuring trust: An experiment in Brazil," Insper Working Papers wpe_42, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  19. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
  20. Holm, Hakan & Nystedt, Paul, 2005. "Intra-generational trust--a semi-experimental study of trust among different generations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 403-419, November.
  21. Bouckaert, Jan & Dhaene, Geert, 2004. "Inter-ethnic trust and reciprocity: results of an experiment with small businessmen," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 869-886, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Greig, Fiona & Bohnet, Iris, 2005. "Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal Exchange Economy? Evidence from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya," Working Paper Series rwp05-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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