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Trust and Cheating

Author

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  • Butler, Jeffrey V.

    () (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)

  • Giuliano, Paola

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Guiso, Luigi

    () (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)

Abstract

When we take a cab we may feel cheated if the driver takes an unnecessarily long route despite the lack of a contract or promise to take the shortest possible path. Is our decision to take the cab affected by our belief that we may end up feeling cheated? Is the behavior of the driver affected by his beliefs about what we consider cheating? We address these questions in the context of a trust game by asking participants directly about their notions of cheating. We find that: i) both parties to a trust exchange have implicit notions of what constitutes cheating even in a context without promises or messages; ii) these notions are not unique – the vast majority of senders would feel cheated by a negative return on their trust/investment, whereas a sizable minority defines cheating according to an equal split rule; iii) these implicit notions affect the behavior of both sides to the exchange in terms of whether to trust or cheat and to what extent. Finally, we show that individuals’ notions of what constitutes cheating can be traced back to two classes of values instilled by parents: cooperative and competitive. The first class of values tends to soften the notion while the other tightens it.

Suggested Citation

  • Butler, Jeffrey V. & Giuliano, Paola & Guiso, Luigi, 2012. "Trust and Cheating," IZA Discussion Papers 6961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6961
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Muñoz-Izquierdo, Nora & Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Beatriz & Rin-Sánchez, Francisco Daniel & Pascual-Ezama, David, 2014. "Economists: cheaters with altruistic instincts," MPRA Paper 60678, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Pierluigi Conzo, 2014. "Trust and Cheating in Sri Lanka: The Role of Experimentally-Induced Emotions about Tsunam," CSEF Working Papers 355, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 20 Apr 2015.
    3. Eleonora Patacchini & Edoardo Rainone, 2017. "Social ties and the demand for financial services," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1115, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Luigi Guiso, 2012. "Trust & Insurance Markets," EIEF Working Papers Series 1207, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2012.
    5. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2011. "What Do CEOs Do?," EIEF Working Papers Series 1101, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Oct 2010.
    6. Rafael Di Tella & Juan Dubra & Alejandro Luis Lagomarsino, 2016. "Meet the Oligarchs: Business Legitimacy, State Capacity and Taxation," NBER Working Papers 22934, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Eleonora Patacchini & Edoardo Rainone, 2014. "The Word on Banking - Social Ties, Trust, and the Adoption of Financial Products," EIEF Working Papers Series 1404, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2014.
    8. Borisova, Ekaterina & Peresetsky, Anatoly, 2016. "Do secrets come out? Statistical evaluation of student cheating," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 44, pages 119-130.
    9. Dessi, Roberta & Monin, Benoît, 2012. "Noblesse Oblige? Moral Identity and Prosocial Behavior in the Face of Selfishness," TSE Working Papers 12-347, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    10. Sonsino, Doron & Shifrin, Max & Lahav, Eyal, 2016. "Disentangling trust from risk-taking: Triadic approach," MPRA Paper 80095, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Luigino Bruni & Fabio Tufano, 2017. "The value of vulnerability: The transformative capacity of risky trust," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 12(4), pages 408-414, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trust; trustworthiness; social norms; culture; cheating;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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