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Measuring Trust

  • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig
  • Laibson, David I.
  • Scheinkman, Jose A.
  • Soutter, Christine L.

We combine two experiments and a survey to measure trust and trustworthiness—two key components of social capital. Standard attitudinal survey questions about trust predict trustworthy behavior in our experiments much better than they predict trusting behavior. Trusting behavior in the experiments is predicted by past trusting behavior outside of the experiments. When individuals are closer socially, both trust and trustworthiness rise. Trustworthiness declines when partners are of different races or nationalities. High status individuals are able to elicit more trustworthiness in others.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4481497.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Quarterly Journal of Economics -Cambridge Massachusetts-
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:4481497
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