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Trust in the New Economy

  • Avner Ben-Ner

    ()

  • Louis Putterman

    ()

What do trust and the economy have to do with each other? In a world of perfect and symmetric information, where all related economic actions are simultaneous and occur in one place, the economy runs in the familiar fashion of the perfectly competitive market. In such a world, trust among economic actors is not needed. But in the real- and the virtual- world, there are some elements of many transactions that neither party can observe while the transaction is taking place, and other elements that are observed by only one party. Often one party's action precedes that of the other, but the first action is predicated on the execution of the latter. A buyer, e.g., pays with the expectation of subsequent delivery of a product with certain attributes. Or the buyer pays for a product or a service the quality of which she can judge only later. While some issues associated with asymmetric information and the absence of simultaneity between related actions have been examined extensively in the literature in the context of agency theory and other areas of economics, other issues have received less attention. Many transactions in the new economy, for instance, entail the transmittal of information (credit card details, address, etc.) that may be used against the wishes and interests of the person supplying it. How important to the consumer is protection from such abuses, and how can it be made affordable?

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Paper provided by Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus) in its series Working Papers with number 1102.

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Handle: RePEc:hrr:papers:1102
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  1. Steven Tadelis, 1999. "What's in a Name? Reputation as a Tradeable Asset," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 548-563, June.
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  3. Avner Ben-Ner & Famin Kong & Louis Putterman, . "Share and Share Alike? Intelligence, Socialization, Personality, and Gender-Pairing as Determinants of Giving," Working Papers 1002, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  4. Avner Ben-Ner & Louis Putterman, 1999. "Reciprocity in a Two Part Dictator Game," Working Papers 99-28, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  14. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 2001. "Chivalry and Solidarity in Ultimatum Games," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 171-88, April.
  15. Ben-Ner, Avner & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "On some implications of evolutionary psychology for the study of preferences and institutions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 91-99, September.
  16. Colin F. Camerer & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Anomalies: Ultimatums, Dictators and Manners," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 209-219, Spring.
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  19. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
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  22. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
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