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Guilt from Promise-Breaking and Trust in Markets for Expert Services - Theory and Experiment

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  • Adrian Beck

    ()

  • Rudolf Kerschbamer

    ()

  • Jianying Qiu

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

Abstract

We examine the influence of guilt and trust on the performance of credence goods markets. An expert can make a promise to a consumer first, whereupon the consumer can express her trust by paying an interaction price before the expert's provision and charging decisions. We argue that the expert's promise induces a commitment that triggers guilt if the promise is broken, and guilt is exacerbated by higher interaction prices. An experiment qualitatively confirms our predictions: (1) most experts make the predicted promise; (2) proper promises induce consumer-friendly behavior; and (3) higher interaction prices increase the commitment value of proper promises.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Jianying Qiu & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Guilt from Promise-Breaking and Trust in Markets for Expert Services - Theory and Experiment," Working Papers 2010-06, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2010-06
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cary Deck & Maroš Servátka & Steven Tucker, 2013. "An examination of the effect of messages on cooperation under double-blind and single-blind payoff procedures," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 597-607, December.
    2. Beck, Adrian & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Qiu, Jianying & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Shaping beliefs in experimental markets for expert services: Guilt aversion and the impact of promises and money-burning options," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 145-164.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Promises; Guilt; Trust; Credence Goods; Experts; Reciprocity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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