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Age And The Development Of Trust And Reciprocity

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  • Matthias Sutter
  • Martin Kocher

Abstract

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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  • Matthias Sutter & Martin Kocher, 2004. "Age And The Development Of Trust And Reciprocity," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 105, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2004:105
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Sutter, 2003. "On the nature of fair behavior and its development with age –," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-25, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    2. Hong, Kessely & Bohnet, Iris, 2007. "Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-213, April.
    3. Werner Güth & Carsten Schmidt & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Bargaining outside the lab - a newspaper experiment of a three-person ultimatum game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 449-469, March.
    4. Stefano Denicolai & Antonella Zucchella & Gabriele Cioccarelli, 2010. "Reputation, Trust and Relational Centrality in Local Networks: An Evolutionary Geography Perspective," Chapters, in: Ron Boschma & Ron Martin (ed.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, chapter 13, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Danielson, Anders J. & Holm, Hakan J., 2007. "Do you trust your brethren?: Eliciting trust attitudes and trust behavior in a Tanzanian congregation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 255-271, February.
    6. Antoni Bosch-Domènech & Rosemarie Nagel & Juan Vicente Sánchez-Andrés, 2007. "Social capabilities in Alzheimer’s patients," Economics Working Papers 1020, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    7. Håkan J. Holm & Paul Nystedt, 2010. "Collective Trust Behavior," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(1), pages 25-53, March.
    8. Greig, Fiona & Bohnet, Iris, 2005. "Is There Reciprocity in a Reciprocal Exchange Economy? Evidence from a Slum in Nairobi, Kenya," Working Paper Series rwp05-044, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    9. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.

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    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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