IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Trust and financial trades: Lessons from an investment game where reciprocators can hide behind probabilities


  • Vranceanu, Radu
  • Sutan, Angela
  • Dubart, Delphine


This paper shows that if a very small, exogenously given probability of terminating the exchange is introduced in an elementary investment game, more reciprocators will choose the defection strategy. Everything happens as if they “hide behind probabilities” in order to break the trust relationship. Investors do not alter their behavior in a significant way, at least not for a very small external risk. Financial assets all come with a predetermined and contractual probability that by the time when the buyer has to receive the reward for his investment, “bad luck” might have brought the asset value down to zero. In the light of the experimental findings, such trades would not provide a favorable environment for building trust.

Suggested Citation

  • Vranceanu, Radu & Sutan, Angela & Dubart, Delphine, 2012. "Trust and financial trades: Lessons from an investment game where reciprocators can hide behind probabilities," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 72-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:72-78 DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2011.10.011

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vranceanu, Radu & Laot, Maxime & Dubart, Delphine, 2010. "Une échelle de mesure de la connaissance en raisonnement économique et résultats d'une enquête menée en décembre 2009," ESSEC Working Papers DR 10001, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    2. Patricia Crifo & Nicolas Mottis, 2010. "SRI analysis and asset management : independent or convergent ? : A field study on the French market," Post-Print hal-00572379, HAL.
    3. Batista, Catia & Potin, Jacques, 2008. "International Specialization and the Return to Capital, 1976-2000," ESSEC Working Papers DR 08001, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    4. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
    5. Batista, Catia & Potin, Jacques, 2006. "Stages of Diversification and Capital Accumulation in an Heckscher-Ohlin World, 1975-1995," ESSEC Working Papers DR 06008, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2011. "Banks' risk race: A signaling explanation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 784-791, October.
    2. Christophe Heintz & Jérémy Celse & Francesca Giardini & Sylvain Max, 2015. "Facing expectations: Those that we prefer to fulfil and those that we disregard," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 10(5), pages 442-455, September.
    3. Sutan, Angela & Vranceanu, Radu, 2016. "Lying about delegation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 29-40.
    4. Tagat, Anirudh & Kapoor, Hansika, 2017. "The trust broker game: A three-player trust game with probabilistic returns and information asymmetry," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-33, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. repec:eee:pubeco:v:156:y:2017:i:c:p:59-72 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Trust; Financial transactions; Experimental economics; Investment game; External randomness;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:72-78. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.