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The robustness of trust and reciprocity across a heterogeneous U.S. population

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  • Garbarino, Ellen
  • Slonim, Robert

Abstract

Experimental evidence on gender differences demonstrates that women are generally less trusting and more reciprocating than men in Investment Games. However, existing studies typically use a narrow population consisting of college students. To test the robustness of these findings, we report on an experiment using 18-84-year old participants recruited from an online panel. While trusting gender differences are robust across age, with women less trusting than men, reciprocating behavior is not robust across age; gender differences in reciprocating behavior depend on age and amounts received in a complex manner. Regarding trusting behavior, we also find that men and women of all ages trust women and older people more than men and younger people. To understand trust better, we collected socio-economic and demographic information and experimentally measured how much subjects expected different partner types would return. While socio-economic and demographic information explain little of the trusting and reciprocating behavior, expectations explain nearly 50 percent of the reason women trust less than men and why more is sent to women and older people. However, even after controlling for expectations, gender and age differences remain significant in explaining trusting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Garbarino, Ellen & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "The robustness of trust and reciprocity across a heterogeneous U.S. population," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 226-240, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:69:y:2009:i:3:p:226-240
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    Cited by:

    1. Cleave, Blair L. & Nikiforakis, Nikos & Slonim, Robert, 2010. "Is There Selection Bias in Laboratory Experiments?," Working Papers 2010-01, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    2. Lacetera, Nicola & Macis, Mario & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "Will There Be Blood? Incentives and Substitution Effects in Pro-social Behavior," IZA Discussion Papers 4567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    4. Atalay, Kadir & Bakhtiar, Fayzan & Cheung, Stephen & Slonim, Robert, 2014. "Savings and prize-linked savings accounts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 107(PA), pages 86-106.
    5. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Mahmud, Minhaj & Martinsson, Peter, 2013. "Trust, trust games and stated trust: Evidence from rural Bangladesh," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 286-298.
    6. Slonim, Robert & Wang, Carmen & Garbarino, Ellen & Merrett, Danielle, 2012. "Opting-In: Participation Biases in the Lab," IZA Discussion Papers 6865, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    11. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "The Role of Information in Deterring Discrimination: A New Experimental Evidence of Statistical Discrimination," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201238, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
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    14. Catherine C. Eckel & Ragan Petrie, 2011. "Face Value," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1497-1513, June.
    15. Van Zant, Alex B. & Kray, Laura J., 2013. ""I Can't Lie to Your Face": Minimal Face-to-Face Interaction Promotes Honestry," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt88f3409v, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    16. Hiromasa Takahashi & Junyi Shen & Kazuhito Ogawa, 2016. "Gender-specific Reference-dependent Preferences in an Experimental Trust Game," Discussion Paper Series DP2016-09, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    17. Calabuig, Vicente & Fatas, Enrique & Olcina, Gonzalo & Rodriguez-Lara, Ismael, 2016. "Carry a big stick, or no stick at all," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 153-171.
    18. L. Becchetti & V. Pelligra & F. Salustri & A. Vásquez, 2016. "Gender differences in Socially Responsible Consumption. An Experimental Investigation," Working Paper CRENoS 201603, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
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    23. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Navarro-Martínez, Daniel, 2018. "On the external validity of social preference games: a systematic lab-field study," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84088, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    24. Selim Jürgen Ergun & Teresa García-Muñoz & M.Fernanda Rivas, 2010. "Gender Differences in Economic Experiments," ThE Papers 10/14, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..

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