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Trust, Truth, Status and Identity: an experimental inquiry

  • Jeffrey V. Butler

    (EIEF)

In an experiment involving a standard trust game and a costless signalling game, it is demonstrated that economically relevant norm-based behaviors (trust, reciprocity and truth-telling) vary with social identity. The experimental procedure induced two trivial social identities. In one version, a status difference was induced. The results permitted a succinct description of identity effects: subjects held own-group members to a higher standard; and high status subjects held everyone, including themselves, to a higher standard. To illustrate the “high status/high standards” phenomenon, subjects’ “standards” were estimated from a simple identity model for a subset of the data.

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File URL: http://www.eief.it/files/2012/09/wp-17-trust-truth-status-and-identity_an-experimental-inquiry.pdf
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Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 0817.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision: Oct 2008
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:0817
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  1. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status In Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188, February.
  2. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2004. "An Experimental Study of Truth-Telling in a Sender-Receiver Game," ESE Discussion Papers 128, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  3. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
  4. Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner & Vittoria Levati, . "The Effect of Group Identity in an Investment Game," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  5. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  6. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
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