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The Coevolution of Trust and Institutions in Anonymous and Non-anonymous Communities

  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • Axel Ockenfels

    ()

We report on a research program that employs the indirect evolutionary approach to analyze how the institutional environment drives the evolution of trust and trustworthiness through the evolution of moral preferences, and how in turn the evolution of preferences shapes the evolution of the rules of the game. In particular, we describe how the ability to detect trustworthiness in non-anonymous communities supports the evolution of trust and thus crowds out legal institutions. If anonymous interaction prevents type detection, legal institutions such as courts and legal insurance may play a decisive role for the emergence of trust.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2002-07.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2002-07
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  1. Selten,Reinhard, 1986. "Evolutionary stability in extensive two-person games correction and further development," Discussion Paper Serie A 70, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80, January.
  3. Werner Güth & Axel Ockenfels, . "The Coevolution of Morality and Legal Institutions - An indirect evolutionary approach -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-06, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  4. Max Albert & Erich Kirchler & Werner Güth & Boris Maciejovsky, 2001. "Exploring Behavior: An Ultimatum Experiment," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 18, pages 353-375.
  5. Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Reputationsmechanismen auf Internet-Marktplattformen - Theorie und Empirie -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-46, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "New Institutional Structures on the Internet: The Economic Design of Online Auctions," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2002-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  7. Selten, Reinhard, 1983. "Evolutionary stability in extensive two-person games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 269-363, September.
  8. Werner Gueth & Axel Ockenfels, 2000. "Evolutionary Norm Enforcement," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(2), pages 335-, June.
  9. Brosig, Jeannette, 2002. "Identifying cooperative behavior: some experimental results in a prisoner's dilemma game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-290, March.
  10. Ockenfels, Axel & Selten, Reinhard, 2000. "An Experiment on the Hypothesis of Involuntary Truth-Signalling in Bargaining," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 90-116, October.
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