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Trust, Truth, Status and Identity: an experimental inquiry

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  • Jeffrey V. Butler

    (EIEF)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey V. Butler, 2008. "Trust, Truth, Status and Identity: an experimental inquiry," EIEF Working Papers Series 0817, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Oct 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:0817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Güth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Ploner, Matteo, 2008. "Social identity and trust--An experimental investigation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1293-1308, August.
    2. Sanchez-Pages, Santiago & Vorsatz, Marc, 2007. "An experimental study of truth-telling in a sender-receiver game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 86-112, October.
    3. McLeish, Kendra N. & Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Identity, Cooperation, and Punishment," IZA Discussion Papers 2572, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Butler, Je rey V. & Conzo, Pierluigi & Leroch, Martin A., 2013. "Social Identity and Punishment," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201329, University of Turin.
    5. Sheryl Ball & Catherine Eckel & Philip J. Grossman & William Zame, 2001. "Status in Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 161-188.
    6. Kei Tsutsui & Daniel Zizzo, 2014. "Group status, minorities and trust," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 17(2), pages 215-244, June.
    7. Harris, D. & Herrmann, B. & Kontoleon, A., 2010. "What is the Nature and Social Norm within the Context of In-Group Favouritism?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1062, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Werner Güth & Matteo Ploner & Vittoria Levati, "undated". "The Effect of Group Identity in an Investment Game," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    11. Yan Chen & Sherry Xin Li, 2009. "Group Identity and Social Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 431-457, March.
    12. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Delavande, Adeline & Zafar, Basit, 2015. "Stereotypes and Madrassas: Experimental evidence from Pakistan," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 247-267.
    2. Nese, Annamaria & O'Higgins, Niall & Sbriglia, Patrizia & Scudiero, Maurizio, 2016. "Cooperation, Punishment and Organized Crime: A Lab-in-the-Field Experiment in Southern Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 9901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. A. Alesina & P. Giuliano., 2016. "Culture and institutions," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 10.
    4. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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