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People's trust: the design of a survey-based experiment

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  • Ermisch, John
  • Gambetta, Diego

Abstract

In this paper we present the design of a two-stage experiment which aims to measure trusting and trustworthiness in a representative sample of the British population. In the first part we discuss the shortcomings of the most common design of the ‘trust-game’ experiment in eliciting information about clear and cogent notions of trusting and trustworthiness, and in the second part we present an alternative design, which we call the ‘framed binary trust game’. The basic design will be administered to a sample of 200 subjects who were formerly members of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). In the third part of the paper, we extend this design to allow the ‘truster’ to purchase some information about the ‘trustee’ so as to make the experiment a better representation of real-life trust decisions. We plan in a second stage to run the extended experiment on a larger sample of about 1000 subjects.

Suggested Citation

  • Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2006. "People's trust: the design of a survey-based experiment," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-34, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-34
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,27, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    2. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2004. "Trust, risk and betrayal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 467-484, December.
    4. Iris Bohnet & Steffen Huck, 2004. "Repetition and Reputation: Implications for Trust and Trustworthiness When Institutions Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 362-366, May.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Iris Bohnet & Heike Harmgart & Steffen Huck & Jean-Robert Tyran, 2005. "Learning Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 322-329, 04/05.
    7. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Microeconomics 0305007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Jäckle, Annette & Sala, Emanuela & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Lynn, Peter, 2004. "Validation of survey data on income and employment: the ISMIE experience," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-14, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    9. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
    10. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jürgen Schupp & C. Katharina Spieß & Gert G. Wagner, 2008. "Die verhaltenswissenschaftliche Weiterentwicklung des Erhebungsprogramms des SOEP," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 77(3), pages 63-76.
    2. John Ermisch & Diego Gambetta & Heather Laurie & Thomas Siedler & S. C. Noah Uhrig, 2009. "Measuring people's trust," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 172(4), pages 749-769, October.
    3. Jeff Butler & Paola Giuliano & Luigi Guiso, 2016. "Trust and Cheating," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1703-1738, September.
    4. Casal, Sandro & Filippin, Antonio, 2020. "The Effect of Observing Multiple Private Information Outcomes on the Inclination to Cheat," IZA Discussion Papers 13689, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2010. "Do strong family ties inhibit trust?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 365-376, September.
    6. Colin Mayer, 2008. "Trust in Financial Markets," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 14(4), pages 617-632, September.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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