IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp7183.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social Distance and Trust: Experimental Evidence from a Slum in Cairo

Author

Listed:
  • Binzel, Christine

    () (Heidelberg University)

  • Fehr, Dietmar

    () (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin)

Abstract

While strong social ties help individuals cope with missing institutions, trade is essentially limited to those who are part of the social network. We examine what makes the decision to trust a stranger different from the decision to trust a member of a given social network (a friend), by comparing the determinants of these two decisions for the same individual. We implement a binary trust game with hidden action in a lab-in-the-field experiment with residents of an informal housing area in Cairo. Our results show that trust is higher among friends than among strangers and that higher trust among friends is related to the principal's belief of trustworthiness. However, on average a principal underestimates her friend's trustworthiness leading to inefficient outcomes. Our findings suggest that even within a social network, trade may often be limited to exchanges with few information asymmetries.

Suggested Citation

  • Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Social Distance and Trust: Experimental Evidence from a Slum in Cairo," IZA Discussion Papers 7183, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7183
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7183.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    2. Charness, Gary & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2003. "Promises & Partnership," Research Papers in Economics 2003:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    3. Stephen Leider & Markus M. Möbius & Tanya Rosenblat & Quoc-Anh Do, 2009. "Directed Altruism and Enforced Reciprocity in Social Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1815-1851.
    4. Ben d'Exelle & Arno Riedl, 2010. "Directed generosity and network formation: Network dimension matters," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-15, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    5. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    6. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119.
    7. Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim, 2010. "Distinguishing trust from risk: An anatomy of the investment game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 74(1-2), pages 72-81, May.
    8. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2012. "Motives for sharing in social networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 13-26.
    9. Schechter, Laura, 2007. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural Paraguay," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 272-292, February.
    10. Ernst Fehr, 2009. "On The Economics and Biology of Trust," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 235-266, 04-05.
    11. Joel Sobel, 2002. "Can We Trust Social Capital?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 139-154, March.
    12. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2011. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants, And Behavioral Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 522-550, June.
    13. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    14. Dean Karlan & Markus Mobius & Tanya Rosenblat & Adam Szeidl, 2009. "Trust and Social Collateral," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1307-1361.
    15. Andreoni, James & Rao, Justin M., 2011. "The power of asking: How communication affects selfishness, empathy, and altruism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 513-520.
    16. Siwan Anderson & Jean-Marie Baland, 2002. "The Economics of Roscas and Intrahousehold Resource Allocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 963-995.
    17. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Cox, Donald & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2008. "Extended Family and Kinship Networks: Economic Insights and Evolutionary Directions," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    19. Brañas-Garza, Pablo & Cobo-Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovárík, Jaromír & Ponti, Giovanni, 2010. "Altruism and social integration," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 249-257, July.
      • Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovarik, Jaromir & Ponti, Giovanni, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," DFAEII Working Papers 2009-35, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
      • Brañas Garza, Pablo & Cobo Reyes, Ramón & Espinosa Alejos, María Paz & Jiménez, Natalia & Kovarik, Jaromir & Ponti, Giovanni, 2009. "Altruism and Social Integration," IKERLANAK 2009-35, Universidad del País Vasco - Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico I.
    20. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1688-1699, December.
    21. Juan Camilo Cardenas & Jeffrey Carpenter, 2008. "Behavioural Development Economics: Lessons from Field Labs in the Developing World," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 311-338.
    22. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
    23. DeanS. Karlan, 2007. "Social connections and group banking," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages 52-84, February.
    24. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
    25. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    26. Ermisch, John & Gambetta, Diego, 2010. "Do strong family ties inhibit trust?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 365-376, September.
    27. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-660, June.
    28. Iris Bohnet & Benedikt Herrmann & Richard Zeckhauser, 2010. "Trust and the Reference Points for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 811-828.
    29. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2011. "Family Ties And Political Participation," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 817-839, October.
    30. Bruno S. Frey & Iris Bohnet, 1999. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 335-339, March.
    31. Fafchamps, Marcel, 1992. "Solidarity Networks in Preindustrial Societies: Rational Peasants with a Moral Economy," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 147-174, October.
    32. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2001. "Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, And The Family: Evidence From Transfer Behavior In Low-Income Rural Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 389-407, August.
    33. Wydick,Bruce, 2008. "Games in Economic Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521867580, March.
    34. Bernd Hardeweg & Lukas Menkhoff & Hermann Waibel, 2013. "Experimentally Validated Survey Evidence on Individual Risk Attitudes in Rural Thailand," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(4), pages 859-888.
    35. Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 830-851, September.
    36. Nava Ashraf & Iris Bohnet & Nikita Piankov, 2006. "Decomposing trust and trustworthiness," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 193-208, September.
    37. Delavande, Adeline & Giné, Xavier & McKenzie, David, 2011. "Measuring subjective expectations in developing countries: A critical review and new evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 151-163, March.
    38. Juan Camilo Cárdenas & Alberto Chong & Hugo Ñopo, 2009. "To What Extent Do Latin Americans Trust, Reciprocate, and Cooperate? Evidence from Experiments in Six Latin American Countries," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 45-94, January.
    39. Jacob K. Goeree & Margaret A. McConnell & Tiffany Mitchell & Tracey Tromp & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "The 1/d Law of Giving," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 183-203, February.
    40. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
    41. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper is not listed on IDEAS
    42. repec:hrv:faseco:30752839 is not listed on IDEAS
    43. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
    44. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, July.
    45. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2013. "Neighbourhood effects and social behaviour: the case of irrigated and rainfed farmeres in Bohol, the Philippines," MPRA Paper 50130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Schudy, Simeon & Utikal, Verena, 2017. "‘You must not know about me’—On the willingness to share personal data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 1-13.
    3. Cadsby, C. Bram & Du, Ninghua & Song, Fei & Yao, Lan, 2015. "Promise keeping, relational closeness, and identifiability: An experimental investigation in China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 120-133.
    4. Batista, Catia & Silverman, Dan & Yang, Dean, 2015. "Directed giving: Evidence from an inter-household transfer experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 2-21.
    5. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Giving and sorting among friends: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 214-217.
    6. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2015. "Neighborhood effects and social behavior: The case of irrigated and rainfed farmers in Bohol, the Philippines," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 227-246.
    7. Shoji, Masahiro, 2016. "Incentive of risk sharing and trust formation: Experimental and survey evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 71950, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Heinrich, Timo & Brosig-Koch, Jeannette, 2015. "Promises and Social Distance in Buyer-Determined Procurement Auctions," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112892, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Tom Lane, 2015. "Discrimination in the laboratory: a meta-analysis," Discussion Papers 2015-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    10. repec:taf:jdevst:v:53:y:2017:i:1:p:49-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Stefano Caria & Paolo Falco, 2014. "Do employers trust workers too little? An experimental study of trust in the labour market," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-07, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Ayako Wakano & Hiroyuki Yamada & Daichi Shimamoto, 2017. "Does the Heterogeneity of Project Implementers Affect the Programme Participation of Beneficiaries?: Evidence from Rural Cambodia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(1), pages 49-67, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    solidarity; economic development; hidden action; trust; social distance;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7183. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.