Promises as Commitments
AbstractAbstract: We implement a trust game in which the trustee can write a free-form pre-play message for the trustor. The main twist in our design is that there is a 50% probability that the message is delivered to the trustor and a 50% probability that the message is replaced by an empty sheet. We find that even when messages are not delivered trustees who make a promise are significantly more likely to act trustworthy than those who do not make a promise. This suggests that a promise has a commitment value which is independent of its impact on the trustor. Interestingly, we also find that both trustees who make a promise and those who do not make a promise are more likely to be trustworthy if their message is delivered to the trustor. This means that communication increases trustworthiness irrespective of the content of messages.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2012-064.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl
Promises; communication; trust; beliefs; experimental economics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2012-09-03 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2012-09-03 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2012-09-03 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-09-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Weekly Roundup 185: A Curated Linkfest For The Smartest People On The Web!
by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2012-09-09 17:13:42
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