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Optimistic expectations or other-regarding preferences? Analysing the determinants of trust among association members

  • Giacomo Degli Antoni


    (University of Parma, Department of Law; Econometica, Inter-University Center for Economic Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, Italy)

  • Gianluca Grimalda


    (University of Duisburg-Essen, Centre for Global Cooperation Research and Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany; LEE-Universitat Jaume I of Castellón, Spain)

We investigate the effect of beliefs and preferences on trust and trustworthiness in the first experiment involving a stratified sample of association members and a demographically comparable sample of non-members. We show that: (1) Neither expectations on others’ behaviour nor risk aversion are relevant to account for members’ significantly higher trust and trustworthiness. Hence, members and non-members must differ in their basic preferences. (2) Expectations account for the lower trust and trustworthiness observed in Southern Italians compared to Northern Italians. This sheds light on two issues of main importance in the social capital literature.

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Paper provided by Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/21.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jau:wpaper:2013/21
Contact details of provider: Postal: Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castellón
Phone: (34) 964728590-92
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