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Trust on the Streets: A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing

Author

Listed:
  • Gerald Pruckner

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

  • Rupert Sausgruber

    (Department of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck)

Abstract

A publisher uses an honor-system for selling a newspaper in the street. The customers make payments into a cash-box, but can also just take the paper without paying. Payments are not monitored and highly anonymous; hence customers exhibit trustworthiness if they pay for the paper. We run a natural field experiment to identify motives behind payments. The experiment reveals that trustworthiness is based on a social rather than a legal norm. Additional survey questions serve to identify individual-specific components of trustworthiness. We find effects of gender, age, family status, church attendance, measures of reciprocity, social connectedness, and social risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2006. "Trust on the Streets: A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing," Discussion Papers 06-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0601
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/2006/0601.pdf/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gachter, Simon & Herrmann, Benedikt & Thoni, Christian, 2004. "Trust, voluntary cooperation, and socio-economic background: survey and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 505-531, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rosaz, Julie & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2012. "Lies and biased evaluation: A real-effort experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 537-549.
    2. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
    3. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Minhaj Mahmud & Peter Martinsson, 2009. "Trust and Religion: Experimental Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 462-485, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    trust; trustworthiness; natural field experiment; survey;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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