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Harnessing the Benefits of Betrayal Aversion

Listed author(s):
  • Jason A. Aimone

    ()

    (Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute)

  • Daniel Houser

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

Recent research suggests that while there are negative effects of betrayal aversion, that the presence of betrayal-averse agents is beneficial in reducing trusteesÕ willingness to betray trust. If true, then many common knowledge institutions may have adopted institutional rules and features which mitigate the emotional disutility associated with betrayal aversion while simultaneously maintaining the high levels of reciprocation brought about by the presence of betrayal-averse agents. Here we conduct a laboratory experiment which identifies a prevalent successful institutional feature common to many every-day institutions: the voluntary, but not forced, option to discover the painful details of failed economic exchange. Length: 29

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Paper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1030.

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Date of creation: Jan 2012
Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1030
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  1. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2006. "Trust Games Measure Trust," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 06-14, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
  3. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  4. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2010. "Distinguishing trust from risk: An anatomy of the investment game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 72-81, May.
  5. Hong, Kessely & Bohnet, Iris, 2007. "Status and distrust: The relevance of inequality and betrayal aversion," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-213, April.
  6. Koehler, Jonathan J. & Gershoff, Andrew D., 2003. "Betrayal aversion: When agents of protection become agents of harm," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 244-261, March.
  7. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
  8. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2004. "Trust, risk and betrayal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 467-484, December.
  9. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  10. David Masclet & Charles Noussair & Steven Tucker & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2003. "Monetary and Nonmonetary Punishment in the Voluntary Contributions Mechanism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 366-380, March.
  11. Daniel Houser & John Wooders, 2006. "Reputation in Auctions: Theory, and Evidence from eBay," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 353-369, June.
  12. Bohnet, Iris & Hermann, Benedikt & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2009. "Trust and the Reference Point for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries," Working Paper Series rwp09-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  13. Iris Bohnet & Fiona Greig & Benedikt Herrmann & Richard Zeckhauser, 2008. "Betrayal Aversion: Evidence from Brazil, China, Oman, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 294-310, March.
  14. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  15. Jason Aimone & Daniel Houser, 2012. "What you don’t know won’t hurt you: a laboratory analysis of betrayal aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(4), pages 571-588, December.
  16. Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Dunning, David, 2012. "Betrayal aversion versus principled trustfulness—How to explain risk avoidance and risky choices in trust games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 534-541.
  17. Jason Dana & Roberto Weber & Jason Kuang, 2007. "Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 67-80, October.
  18. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
  19. Erte Xiao & Daniel Houser, 2005. "Emotion expression in human punishment behavior," Experimental 0504003, EconWPA, revised 18 May 2005.
  20. Iris Bohnet & Benedikt Herrmann & Richard Zeckhauser, 2010. "Trust and the Reference Points for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 811-828.
  21. 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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