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Measuring Trust

  • Edward L. Glaeser
  • David I. Laibson
  • José A. Scheinkman
  • Christine L. Soutter

We combine two experiments and a survey to measure trust and trustworthiness - two key components of social capital. Standard attitudinal survey questions about trust predict trustworthy behavior in our experiments much better than they predict trusting behavior. Trusting behavior in the experiments is predicted by past trusting behavior outside of the experiments. When individuals are closer socially, both trust and trustworthiness rise. Trustworthiness declines when partners are of different races or nationalities. High status individuals are able to elicit more trustworthiness in others. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 115 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 811-846

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:811-846
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