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Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation

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  • Werner Güth
  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Matteo Ploner

Abstract

We experimentally examine how group identity affects trust behavior in an investment game. In one treatment, group identity is induced purely by minimal groups. In other treatments, group members are additionally related by outcome interdependence established in a prior public goods game. Moving from the standard investment game (where no group identity is prompted) to minimal group identity to two-dimensional group identity, we find no significant differences in trust decisions. However, trust is significantly and positively correlated with contribution decisions, suggesting that "social" trust is behaviorally important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2006-41.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-41

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Keywords: Experiment; Investment game; Trust; Group identity;

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References

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  1. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
  2. James Jr., Harvey S., 2002. "The trust paradox: a survey of economic inquiries into the nature of trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 291-307, March.
  3. Frey, Bruno S. & Bohnet, Iris, 1997. "Identification in democratic society," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-38.
  4. Delhey, Jan & Newton, Kenneth, 2002. "Who trusts? The origins of social trust in seven nations," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 02-402, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Werner Güth & Vittoria Levati & Rupert Saugruber, 2005. "Tax morale and (de-)centralization: An experimental study," Public Economics 0511014, EconWPA.
  6. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2003. "Knitted warmth: the simple analytics of social cohesion," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 623-645, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  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. Harvey James, 2002. "The Trust Paradox: A Survey of Economic Inquiries Into the Nature of Trust and Trustworthiness," Microeconomics 0202001, EconWPA.
  12. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wagener, Andreas & Kolmar, Martin, 2011. "Group Identities in Conflicts," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48694, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. John Smith, 2012. "The endogenous nature of the measurement of social preferences," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 11(2), pages 235-256, December.
  3. John Smith, 2012. "Reputation, Social Identity and Social Conflict," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 14(4), pages 677-709, 08.
  4. Fernando Aguiar & Pablo Branas-Garza & Maria Paz Espinosa & Luis Miller, 2010. "Personal identity: a theoretical and experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 261-275.
  5. Ben-Ner, Avner, 2013. "Preferences and organization structure: Toward behavioral economics micro-foundations of organizational analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 87-96.
  6. Bonein, Aurélie & Serra, Daniel, 2009. "Gender pairing bias in trustworthiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 779-789, October.
  7. Donna Harris & Benedikt Herrmann, 2012. "When to Favour Your Own group? The Threats of Costly Punishments and In-group Favouritism," Economics Series Working Papers 628, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Donna Harris & Klaus Abbink, 2012. "In-group favouritism and out-group discimination in naturally occurring groups," Economics Series Working Papers 616, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. John Smith & Katerina Bezrukova, 2008. "Towards an Understanding of the Endogenous Nature of Identity in Games," Departmental Working Papers 200806, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  10. Güth, Werner & Ploner, Matteo & Regner, Tobias, 2009. "Determinants of in-group bias: Is group affiliation mediated by guilt-aversion?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 814-827, October.
  11. Avner Ben-Ner & Matthew Ellman, 2013. "The contributions of behavioural economics to understanding and advancing the sustainability of worker cooperatives," Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, vol. 2(1), pages 75-100, August.
  12. Morone, Andrea & Sandri, Serena & Fiore, Annamaria, 2009. "On the absorbability of informational cascades in the laboratory," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 728-738, October.

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