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Intention-based reciprocity and signaling of intentions

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  • Toussaert, Séverine

Abstract

Many experiments find that trust intentions are a key determinant of prosociality. If intentions matter, then prosociality should depend on whether trust intentions can be credibly conveyed. This conjecture is formalized and tested in a noisy trust game where I vary the extent to which trust can be credibly signaled. I find that the introduction of noise threatens the onset of trust relations and induces players to form more pessimistic beliefs. Therefore policies that increase transparency of the decision-making environment may foster prosociality. However, the potential impact of such policies could be limited by a large heterogeneity in how individuals respond to changes in their information environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Toussaert, Séverine, 2017. "Intention-based reciprocity and signaling of intentions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69803, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:69803
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/69803/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2011. "The strategy versus the direct-response method: a first survey of experimental comparisons," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 14(3), pages 375-398, September.
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    3. Giuseppe Attanasi & Pierpaolo Battigalli & Elena Manzoni, 2016. "Incomplete-Information Models of Guilt Aversion in the Trust Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(3), pages 648-667, March.
    4. Casari, Marco & Cason, Timothy N., 2009. "The strategy method lowers measured trustworthy behavior," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 157-159, June.
    5. Battigalli, Pierpaolo & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2009. "Dynamic psychological games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 1-35, January.
    6. Andreoni, James, 1989. "Giving with Impure Altruism: Applications to Charity and Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1447-1458, December.
    7. Andreoni, James, 1990. "Impure Altruism and Donations to Public Goods: A Theory of Warm-Glow Giving?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 464-477, June.
    8. Blount, Sally, 1995. "When Social Outcomes Aren't Fair: The Effect of Causal Attributions on Preferences," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 131-144, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trust; Intentions; Reciprocity; Noise; Signaling; Experimental economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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