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Social identity and trust - An experimental investigation

  • Werner Güth
  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Matteo Ploner

We experimentally examine how group identity affects trust behavior in an investment game. In one treatment, group identity is induced purely by minimal groups. In other treatments, group members are additionally related by outcome interdependence established in a prior public goods game. Moving from the standard investment game (where no group identity is prompted) to minimal group identity to two-dimensional group identity, we find no significant differences in trust decisions. However, trust is significantly and positively correlated with contribution decisions, suggesting that "social" trust is behaviorally important.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2006-41.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2006-41
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  1. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
  2. James Jr., Harvey S., 2002. "The trust paradox: a survey of economic inquiries into the nature of trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 291-307, March.
  3. Dayton-Johnson, Jeff, 2003. "Knitted warmth: the simple analytics of social cohesion," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 623-645, December.
  4. Delhey, Jan & Newton, Kenneth, 2002. "Who trusts? The origins of social trust in seven nations," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Social Structure and Social Reporting FS III 02-402, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  5. Cox, James C., 2004. "How to identify trust and reciprocity," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 260-281, February.
  6. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  7. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Harvey James, 2002. "The Trust Paradox: A Survey of Economic Inquiries Into the Nature of Trust and Trustworthiness," Microeconomics 0202001, EconWPA.
  9. Werner Güth & Vittoria Levati & Rupert Saugruber, 2005. "Tax morale and (de-)centralization: An experimental study," Public Economics 0511014, EconWPA.
  10. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-38, May.
  11. Buchan, Nancy & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "The boundaries of trust: own and others' actions in the US and China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 485-504, December.
  12. Frey, Bruno S. & Bohnet, Iris, 1997. "Identification in democratic society," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 25-38.
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