Social Norms, Information and Trust among Strangers: Theory and Evidence
Can a social norm of trust and reciprocity emerge among strangers? We investigate this question by examining behavior in an experiment where subjects repeatedly play a two-player binary â€•trustâ€– game. Players are randomly and anonymously paired with one another in each period. The main questions addressed are whether a social norm of trust and reciprocity emerges under the most extreme information restriction (anonymous community-wide enforcement) or whether trust and reciprocity require additional, individual-specific information about a playerâ€™s past history of play and whether that information must be provided freely or at some cost. In the absence of such reputational information, we find that a social norm of trust and reciprocity is difficult to sustain. The provision of reputational information on past individual decisions significantly increases trust and reciprocity, with longer histories yielding the best outcomes. Importantly, we find that making reputational information available at a small cost may also lead to a significant improvement in trust and reciprocity, despite the fact that most subjects do not choose to purchase this information.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2008|
|Date of revision:||Jul 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd, Montréal, Québec, H3G 1M8|
Phone: (514) 848-3900
Fax: (514) 848-4536
Web page: http://economics.concordia.ca
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Glenn Ellison, 1994.
"Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 567-588.
- Glen Ellison, 2010. "Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma with Anonymous Random Matching," Levine's Working Paper Archive 631, David K. Levine.
- 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.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, "undated". "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Paul R. Milgrom & Douglass C. North & Barry R. Weingast, 1990. "The Role Of Institutions In The Revival Of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, And The Champagne Fairs," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 1-23, 03.
- Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
- Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2007. "Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1883-1918, December.
- Martin Brown & Christian Zehnder, 2006. "Credit Reporting, Relationship Banking, and Loan Repayment," Working Papers 2006-03, Swiss National Bank.
- Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2004. "How Effective Are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1587-1602, November.
- Gary E. Bolton & Elena Katok & Axel Ockenfels, 2003. "How Effective are Electronic Reputation Mechanisms? An Experimental Investigation," Working Paper Series in Economics 3, University of Cologne, Department of Economics.
- Pedro Bó, 2007. "Social norms, cooperation and inequality," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 30(1), pages 89-105, January.
- Pedro Dal Bo, 2001. "Social Norms, Cooperation and Inequality," UCLA Economics Working Papers 802, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
- Bolton, Gary E. & Katok, Elena & Ockenfels, Axel, 2005. "Cooperation among strangers with limited information about reputation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(8), pages 1457-1468, August.
- Duffy, John & Ochs, Jack, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and the frequency of social interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 785-812, July.
- John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2004. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000108, UCLA Department of Economics.
- John Duffy & Jack Ochs, 2004. "Cooperative Behavior and the Frequency of Social Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000000060, David K. Levine.
- Gabriele Camera & Marco Casari, 2009. "Cooperation among Strangers under the Shadow of the Future," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 979-1005, June.
- Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)