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The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust

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  • Suchon, Rémi
  • Villeval, Marie Claire

Abstract

In a laboratory experiment we test the interaction effects of group identity and status on interpersonal trust. Natural group identity is generated by school affiliation. Status (expert or agent) is awarded based on the relative performance in a math quiz that is ex ante less favorable to the subjects from one group. We find that “promoted” trustors (individuals from the disadvantaged group that nevertheless achieve the status of expert) trust less both in-group and out-group trustees, compared to the other members of their group. Status promotion singles out individuals and seems to weaken group identification. In contrast, trustworthiness is not affected by status and there is no evidence that interacting with promoted individuals impacts trust or trustworthiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Suchon, Rémi & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "The effects of status mobility and group identity on trust," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 430-463.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:163:y:2019:i:c:p:430-463
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.05.020
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust; Status; Group identity; Social mobility; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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