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Trust and Cheating

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Author Info

  • Jeffrey Butler

    (EIEF)

  • Paola Giuliano

    (University of California-Los Angeles, NBER, CEPR and IZA)

  • Luigi Guiso

    (EIEF and CEPR)

Abstract

When we take a cab we may feel cheated if the driver takes an unnecessarily long route despite the lack of a contract or promise to take the shortest possible path. Is our decision to take the cab affected by our belief that we may end up feeling cheated? Is the behavior of the driver affected by his beliefs about what we consider cheating? We address these questions in the context of a trust game by asking participants directly about their notions of cheating. We find that i) both parties to a trust exchange have implicit notions of what constitutes cheating even in a context without promises or messages; ii) these notions are not unique (the vast majority of senders would feel cheated by a negative return on their trust/investment, whereas a sizable minority defines cheating according to an equal split rule); iii) these implicit notions affect the behavior of both sides to the exchange in terms of whether to trust or cheat and to what extent. Finally, we show that individuals' notions of what constitutes cheating can be traced back to two classes of values instilled by parents: cooperative and competitive. The first class of values tends to soften the notion while the other tightens it.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1213.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1213

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References

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  1. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Ernst Fehr, 2008. "On the Economics and Biology of Trust," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 154, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  6. Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie & Máximo Torero & Lise Vesterlund, 2012. "Gender Differences in Bargaining Outcomes: A Field Experiment on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 18093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  8. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  9. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  11. Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2012. "Financial Advice," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 494-512, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Conzo, Pierluigi, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunami," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201403, University of Turin.
  2. Luigi Guiso, 2012. "Trust & Insurance Markets," EIEF Working Papers Series 1207, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2012.
  3. Dessi, Roberta & Monin, Benoît, 2012. "Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness," IDEI Working Papers 750, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Dessi, Roberta & Monin, Benoît, 2012. "Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness," TSE Working Papers 12-347, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

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