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Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages


  • Abigail Barr


An economic experiment involving 24 small, tightly knit communities allows us to distinguish between trusting or trust-like behaviour based on expectational and non-expectational motivations. A model linking trusting behaviour to expectations of trustworthiness explains over half of the variation across communities. However, the estimated parameters are different (while being similarly well defined) for traditional and resettled communities. This is taken as evidence that non-expectational motivations are at work and vary with community type. Both the data and certain stylised facts suggest that altruistic motivations matter less and motivations relating to a desire to 'community-build' matter more in resettled communities. Copyright 2003 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:113:y:2003:i:489:p:614-630

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