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Age And The Development Of Trust And Reciprocity

  • Matthias Sutter
  • Martin Kocher

We examine the degree of trust and reciprocity in an experimental trust game with 662 participants from six different age groups, ranging from 8 year old primary school children to retired persons in their late sixties. Although both trust and reciprocity have been identified as fundamental pillars for smooth and efficient economic interactions, economic research has devoted surprisingly little attention to their development with age. Our results provide clear evidence that trust in anonymous partners increases almost linearly from early childhood to early adulthood, but stays constant afterwards. Reciprocity prevails in all age groups, although its degree also seems to increase with age.

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Paper provided by Royal Economic Society in its series Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 with number 105.

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Date of creation: 17 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:105
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