IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trust, Reciprocity, and Guanxi in China: An Experimental Investigation

  • Fei Song

    ()

    (Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University)

  • C. Bram Cadsby

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Guelph)

  • Yunyun Bi

    ()

    (Taiping Asset Management, Shanghai, China)

We examine the influence of social distance on levels of trust and reciprocity in China. Social distance, reflected in the indigenous concept of guanxi, is of central importance to Chinese culture. In Study 1, some participants participated in two financially salient trust games to measure behavior, one with an anonymous classmate and the other with an anonymous, demographically identical nonclassmate. Other participants, drawn from the same population, completed hypothetical surveys to gauge both hypothetical behavior and expectations of others. Social distance effects on actual and hypothetical behavior were statistically consistent. The results together corroborated the hypothesized negative relationship between trust and social distance. However, reciprocity was not responsive to social distance. Study 2 found that affect-based trust, but not cognition-based trust, played a mediating role in the relationship between social distance and interpersonal trust in a hypothetical scenario. We conclude that close guanxi ties in China engender affect-based trust, which is extended to shouren classmates. This is true despite the fact that no more cognition-based trust is placed nor reciprocity received or expected from classmates compared to demographically identical shengren nonclassmates.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/sites/uoguelph.ca.economics/files/2012-04.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found (http://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/sites/uoguelph.ca.economics/files/2012-04.pdf [302 Found]--> https://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/sites/uoguelph.ca.economics/files/2012-04.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify (Stephen Kosempel)


Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 1204.

as
in new window

Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Management and Organization Review (2012), Vol. 8, 2, 397-421.
Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2012-04.
Contact details of provider: Postal: Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1
Phone: (519) 824-4120 ext. 53898
Fax: (519) 763-8497
Web page: https://www.uoguelph.ca/economics/
More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rongzhu Ke & Weiying Zhang, 2003. "Trust in China: A Cross-Regional Analysis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-586, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  3. Garbarino, Ellen & Slonim, Robert, 2009. "The robustness of trust and reciprocity across a heterogeneous U.S. population," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 226-240, March.
  4. Matthew Rabin, 2003. "A Perspective on Psychology and Economics," General Economics and Teaching 0303003, EconWPA.
  5. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  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. Daniel Z. Levin & Rob Cross, 2004. "The Strength of Weak Ties You Can Trust: The Mediating Role of Trust in Effective Knowledge Transfer," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(11), pages 1477-1490, November.
  8. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
  9. 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.
  10. James C. Cox & Cary A. Deck, 2005. "On the Nature of Reciprocal Motives," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 623-635, July.
  11. Roy Y J Chua & Michael W Morris & Paul Ingram, 2009. "Guanxi vs networking: Distinctive configurations of affect- and cognition-based trust in the networks of Chinese vs American managers," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 490-508, April.
  12. Bolton, G.E. & Brandts, J. & Ockenfels, A., 1997. "Measuring Motivations for the Reciprocal Responses Observed in a Simple Dilemma Game," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 400.97, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  13. Smith, Vernon L, 1991. "Rational Choice: The Contrast between Economics and Psychology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 877-97, August.
  14. Smith, Vernon L, 1976. "Experimental Economics: Induced Value Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 274-79, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2012-04.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stephen Kosempel)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.