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Betrayal Aversion: Evidence from Brazil, China, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Iris Bohnet
  • Fiona Greig
  • Benedikt Herrmann
  • Richard Zeckhauser

Abstract

Due to betrayal aversion, people take risks less willingly when the agent of uncertainty is another person rather than nature. Individuals in six countries (Brazil, China, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States) confronted a binary-choice trust game or a risky decision offering the same payoffs and probabilities. Risk acceptance was calibrated by asking individuals their "minimum acceptable probability" (MAP) for securing the high payoff that would make them willing to accept the risky rather than the sure payoff. People's MAPs are generally higher when another person, rather than nature, determines the outcome. This indicates betrayal aversion. (JEL C72, D81, Z13)

Suggested Citation

  • Iris Bohnet & Fiona Greig & Benedikt Herrmann & Richard Zeckhauser, 2008. "Betrayal Aversion: Evidence from Brazil, China, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 294-310, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:1:p:294-310
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.1.294
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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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