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Trust in Private and Common Property Experiments

Author

Listed:
  • James C. Cox

    () (Experimental Economics Center (ExCEN), 14 Marietta Street NW, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA)

  • Elinor Ostrom,

    () (Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 North Park Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA)

  • James M. Walker

    () (Department of Economics, Wylie Hall 105, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA)

  • Antonio Jamie Castillo

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Granada, C/ Rector Lopez Argueta, s/n Granada, 18071, Spain)

  • Eric Coleman

    () (Department of Political Science, Woodburn Hall 210, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA)

  • Robert Holahan

    () (Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, 513 North Park Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA)

  • Michael Schoon

    () (Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA)

  • Brian Steed

    () (Department of Political Science, Woodburn Hall 210, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47408, USA)

Abstract

We report the results from a series of experiments designed to investigate behavior in two settings that are frequently posited in the policy literature as generating different outcomes: private property and common property. The experimental settings closely parallel earlier experimental studies of the investment or trust game. The primary research question relates to the effect of the initial allocation of property rights on the level of trust that subjects will extend to others with whom they are linked. We find that assigning the initial endowments as common property of each of N pairs of a first mover and second mover leads to marginally greater trust than when the initial endowments are fully owned by the two individual movers as their respective private property. Subjects’ decisions are also shown to be correlated with attitudes toward trust and fairness that are measured in post-experiment questionnaires.

Suggested Citation

  • James C. Cox & Elinor Ostrom, & James M. Walker & Antonio Jamie Castillo & Eric Coleman & Robert Holahan & Michael Schoon & Brian Steed, 2009. "Trust in Private and Common Property Experiments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 957-975, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:75:4:y:2009:p:957-975
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    2. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Gjerstad, Steven, 2007. "A tractable model of reciprocity and fairness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-45, April.
    3. Jacobsen, Eva & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 1996. "Experimental Proof for the Motivational Importance of Reciprocity," Discussion Paper Serie B 386, University of Bonn, Germany.
    4. Willinger, Marc & Keser, Claudia & Lohmann, Christopher & Usunier, Jean-Claude, 2003. "A comparison of trust and reciprocity between France and Germany: Experimental investigation based on the investment game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 447-466, August.
    5. Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing trust and trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 193-208, September.
    6. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
    7. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benito-Ostolaza, J.M. & Ezcurra, R. & Osés-Eraso, N., 2014. "Negative externalities in cropping decisions: Private versus common land," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 185-192.
    2. Ian David Soane & Rocco Scolozzi & Beatrice Marelli & Cristina Orsatti & Klaus Hubacek & Alessandro Gretter, 2011. "Developing a panarchy model of landscape conservation and management of alpine-mountain grassland in Northern Italy," Openloc Working Papers 1107, Public policies and local development.
    3. James C. Cox & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovič, 2017. "Status quo effects in fairness games: reciprocal responses to acts of commission versus acts of omission," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 20(1), pages 1-18, March.
    4. Berggren, Niclas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Is the importance of religion in daily life related to social trust? Cross-country and cross-state comparisons," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 459-480.
    5. Blaine Robbins, 2012. "Institutional Quality and Generalized Trust: A Nonrecursive Causal Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(2), pages 235-258, June.
    6. Bjornskov, Christian & Bogetic, Zeljko & Hillman, Arye & Popovic, Milenko, 2014. "Trust and Identity in a Small, Post-Socialist, Post-Crisis Society," EconStor Preprints 95968, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    7. Bergh, Andreas, 2014. "Trust Us to Repay: Social Trust, Long-Term Interest Rates and Sovereign Credit Ratings," Working Paper Series 1039, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    8. Jason Delaney & Sarah Jacobson, 2016. "Payments or Persuasion: Common Pool Resource Management with Price and Non-price Measures," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 65(4), pages 747-772, December.
    9. Christian Bjørnskov, 2011. "Combating Corruption: On the Interplay between Institutional Quality and Social Trust," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 135-159.
    10. James C. Cox & Elinor Ostrom & James M. Walker, 2011. "Bosses and Kings: Asymmetric Power in Paired Common Pool and Public Good Games," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2011-06, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, revised Aug 2012.
    11. Berggren, Niclas & Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Hellström, Jörgen, 2014. "Social trust and central-bank independence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 425-439.
    12. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2016. "Burying the Bumblebee Once and for All:," Working Paper Series 1119, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    13. James C. Cox & Daniel T. Hall, 2010. "Trust with Private and Common Property: Effects of Stronger Property Right Entitlements," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(4), pages 1-24, November.
    14. Tu, Qin & Mol, Arthur P.J. & Zhang, Lei & Ruben, Ruerd, 2011. "How do trust and property security influence household contributions to public goods?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 499-511.
    15. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2014. "Trust, welfare states and income equality: Sorting out the causality," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 183-199.
    16. Bergh, Andreas & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2013. "Trust, Welfare States and Income Equality: What Causes What?," Working Paper Series 994, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    17. Özcan, Burcu & Bjørnskov, Christian, 2011. "Social trust and human development," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 753-762.
    18. Bezabih, Mintewab & Kohlin, Gunnar & Mannberg, Andrea, 2011. "Trust, tenure insecurity, and land certification in rural Ethiopia," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 833-843.
    19. James C. Cox & Maroš Servátka & Radovan Vadovič, 2012. "Status Quo Effects in Fairness Games: Acts of Commission vs. Acts of Omission," Working Papers in Economics 12/01, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    20. Christian Bjørnskov & Stefan Voigt, 2014. "Constitutional verbosity and social trust," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 91-112, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior

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