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Trust Responsiveness: On the Dynamics of Fiduciary Interactions

  • V. Pelligra


Trust and trustworthiness are key elements, both at the micro and macro level, in sustaining the working of modern economies and their institutions. However, despite its centrality, trust continues to be considered as a “conceptual bumblebee”, it works in practice but not in theory. In particular, its behavioural rationale still represents a puzzle for traditional rational choice theory and game theory. In this paper “trust responsiveness”, an alternative explanatory principle that can account for trustful and trustworthy behaviour, is proposed. Such principle assumes that people can be motivated to behave trustworthily by trustful actions. The paper discusses the philosophical roots, the historical development, as well as the relational nature of this principle as well as its theoretical implications.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 200615.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200615
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  1. Dufwenberg, Martin & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "Measuring Beliefs in an Experimental Lost Wallet Game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 163-182, February.
  2. Vittorio Pelligra, 2011. "Intentions, Trust and Frames: A Note on Sociality and the Theory of Games," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(2), pages 163-188.
  3. Ernst Fehr & John A. List, 2004. "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives-Trust and Trustworthiness Among CEOs," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 743-771, 09.
  4. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Dufwenberg, M. & Kirchsteiger, G., 1998. "A Theory of Sequential Reciprocity," Discussion Paper 1998-37, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Falk, Armin & Fischbacher, Urs, 2001. "A Theory of Reciprocity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Michael Bacharach & Gerardo Guerra & Daniel Zizzo, 2007. "The Self-Fulfilling Property of Trust: An Experimental Study," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 349-388, December.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1993. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1281-1302, December.
  10. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs, 2008. "Testing theories of fairness--Intentions matter," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 287-303, January.
  11. Hume, David, 1739. "A Treatise of Human Nature (II) Of the Passions," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 2, number hume1739a.
  12. Pierpaolo Battigalli & Martin Dufwenberg, 2007. "Guilt in Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 170-176, May.
  13. Bruni, Luigino & Sugden, Robert, 2000. "Moral canals: trust and social capital in the work of Hume, Smith and Genovesi," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 21-45, April.
  14. V. Pelligra & A. Isoni & R. Fadda & I. Doneddu, 2010. "Social Preferences and Perceived Intentions. An experiment with Normally Developing and Autistic Spectrum Disorders Subjects," Working Paper CRENoS 201010, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  15. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  16. Gerardo A. Guerra & Daniel John Zizzo, 2002. "Trust Responsiveness and Beliefs," Economics Series Working Papers 99, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Hume, David, 1740. "A Treatise of Human Nature (III) Of Morals," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, volume 3, number hume1740.
  18. McCabe, Kevin A. & Rigdon, Mary L. & Smith, Vernon L., 2003. "Positive reciprocity and intentions in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 267-275, October.
  19. Nelson, William Jr., 2002. "Equity or intention: it is the thought that counts," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 423-430, August.
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