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Eliciting Motives for Trust and Reciprocity by Attitudinal and Behavioural Measures

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Author Info

  • Farina, Francesco

    ()
    (University of Siena)

  • O'Higgins, Niall

    ()
    (University of Salerno)

  • Sbriglia, Patrizia

    ()
    (University of Naples II)

Abstract

Value Surveys may reveal well-behaved societies by the statistical treatment of the agents’ declarations of compliance with social values. Similarly, the results of experiments conducted on games with conflict of interest trace back to two important primitives of social capital – trust and reciprocity – which can be used to explain deviations from the Nash equilibrium and which lead to the optimal cooperative outcome. In this paper we attempt to elicit the true motive(s) underlying the behaviour of players in experimental trust and dictator games and suggest that the most informative utilization of surveys in this regard goes beyond the simple comparison of answers to a questionnaire with actual behaviour. Specifically the paper uses descriptive statistics and ordered probit models to analyse whether, and to what extent, answers to a questionnaire about attitudes to trusting and reciprocating predict subjects’ behaviour and, by comparing behaviour in Trust and Dictator Game, disentangles the strategic and altruistic motivations. We find no simple or direct correlation between behavioural trust or trustworthiness and attitudinal trust or disposition to reciprocate. However, dividing subjects according to attitudinal trust and trustworthiness, we observe that the link between the questionnaire and experimental sessions is more subtle than the mere correlation between average attitudes and average behaviours. The information conveyed by a survey appears to be much more powerful ex post – once the two motivational components have been separated out.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3584.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3584

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Keywords: ordered probit; experimental economics; trust; reciprocity;

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  1. Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher & Bernhard von Rosenbladt & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2003. "A Nation-Wide Laboratory. Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 866, CESifo Group Munich.
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  3. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  4. Emanuele Ciriolo, 2005. "Inequity aversion and trustees' reciprocity in the trust game," DULBEA Working Papers 05-20.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
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  7. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Schupp, Jürgen & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2003. "A Nationwide Laboratory Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioural Experiments into Representative Surveys," CEPR Discussion Papers 3858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  14. Francesco Farina & Patrizia Sbriglia, 2008. "Conditional cooperation in a sequential move game," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 149-165, April.
  15. J. MUYSKENS & C. de Neubourg, 1986. "Introduction," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1986031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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