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Does players’ identification affect trust and reciprocity in the lab?

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  • Dubois, D.
  • Willinger, M.
  • Blayac, T.

Abstract

Reputation mechanisms are mainly based on information sharing by traders about private trading experience. Each trader can therefore rely on his own past experience as a trader and on other traders’ past experience. The former is the direct component of the reputation mechanism and the latter the indirect component (Bolton, Katok, & Ockenfels, 2004a, 2004b). We design an experiment for isolating the direct component of the reputation system and studying its effect on the level of trust and reciprocity in a population where agents play both roles (trustor and trustee). Our experiment consists on three treatments of a finitely repeated investment game (Berg, Dickhaut, & McCabe, 1995). In the reference treatment there is no reputation mechanism at all, in treatment 1 trustees can build up a direct reputation, and in treatment two players can build up a direct reputation for both roles. We find that trustees’ direct reputation has a positive effect on reciprocity, but does not affect the average trust in the population. Trust is significantly higher only when players can build up a reputation in both roles. We show that the increase in trust is mainly linked to the formation of mutual trust–reciprocity relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Dubois, D. & Willinger, M. & Blayac, T., 2012. "Does players’ identification affect trust and reciprocity in the lab?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 303-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:1:p:303-317
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2011.09.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bogliacino, Francesco & Codagnone, Cristiano, 2017. "Microfoundations, Behaviour, and Evolution: Evidence from Experiments," MPRA Paper 82479, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bogliacino, Francesco & Grimalda, Gianluca & Jimenez, Laura, 2017. "Consultative Democracy & Trust," MPRA Paper 82138, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Investment game; Trust; Reciprocity; Population; Experimental economics; Repeated game; Reputation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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