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The Determinants Of Trusting And Reciprocal Behaviour: Evidence From An Intercultural Experiment


  • Csongor Csukas

    (Department of Finance and Accounting, Technical University of Budapest)

  • Paulo Fracalanza

    (Department of Economics, University of Campinas)

  • Tamas Kovacs

    (Institute of Business Economics, Eszterhazy Karoly College)

  • Marc Willinger

    (Universite Louis Pasteur)


In this paper we provide evidence that trust and reciprocity, the two key elements of social capital, are affected by country differences. Based on the amounts sent and returned in the investment game by student subjects we find evidence on trusting and reciprocal behaviour and we show significant cross-country differences between the levels of trust and reciprocity. We also show that the answers for ¡®trust in strangers¡¯ type attitudinal questions have a significant effect either on trusting or reciprocal behaviour, while gender does not affect any of them. We report that reciprocity is affected by the same variables as trust: in particular stated trust has a significant influence on reciprocal behaviour, which can be explained by attitudes such as projective reasoning. Furthermore, we find that questionnaire based rankings of countries are poor predictors of trusting behaviour rankings, which is mainly due to the differences in strength of correlation between stated trust and trusting behaviour country-by-country.

Suggested Citation

  • Csongor Csukas & Paulo Fracalanza & Tamas Kovacs & Marc Willinger, 2008. "The Determinants Of Trusting And Reciprocal Behaviour: Evidence From An Intercultural Experiment," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 71-95, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jed:journl:v:33:y:2008:i:1:p:71-95

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabian Bornhorst & Andrea Ichino & Oliver Kirchkamp & Karl Schlag & Eyal Winter, 2010. "Similarities and differences when building trust: the role of cultures," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 260-283, September.
    2. Gabriele Bellucci, 2022. "A Model of Trust," Games, MDPI, vol. 13(3), pages 1-27, May.
    3. Bhirombhakdi, Kornpob, 2011. "Performance of a reciprocity model in predicting a positive reciprocity decision," MPRA Paper 37468, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Mario A. Maggioni & Domenico Rossignoli, 2022. "Trust Can Be Learned. Order of moves and agents' behavior in two trust game," DISEIS - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo dis2202, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimento di Economia internazionale, delle istituzioni e dello sviluppo (DISEIS).
    5. Steffen Keck & Natalia Karelaia, 2012. "Does competition foster trust? The role of tournament incentives," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 204-228, March.

    More about this item


    Social Capital; Trust; Reciprocity; International Comparison; Experimental Economics;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification


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