Transparency, Empowerment, Disempowerment and Trust in an Investment Environment
In a laboratory-controlled environment we provide experimental evidence on the effects of transparency (complete over incomplete information) and empowerment on trust (investment by a principal) and trustworthiness (reciprocal behavior of an agent). We implement a simple two-person investment game. We find that when principals are empowered by being able to punish agents who may not act in a way the principal believes is in the principal’s best interest, trust and investment increases over that which is realized in the absence of empowerment regardless of the degree of transparency. In transparent environments the effect of empowerment is about the same regardless of whether empowerment is introduced or removed. However, in opaque environments, the loss of empowerment has a substantially greater negative effect on trust than the positive effect associated with the introduction of empowerment. While this environment is substantially abstracted from the naturally occurring environment, these results suggest that practical public policies designed to increase transparency in financial transactions are likely to have positive effects on investment. Furthermore, public policies designed to empower principals, such as the Say-on-Pay practices, are likely to increase investment while the limitation of the empowerment of principals with respect to their agents (consistent with deregulation) will have a much more dramatic negative impact on trust (and ultimately, investment).
|Date of creation:||Jun 2013|
|Date of revision:||Oct 2013|
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- G. Coricelli & L.G. Morales & A. Mahlstedt, "undated". "The investment game with asymmetric information," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2003-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Denis, Diane K., 2012. "Mandatory clawback provisions, information disclosure, and the regulation of securities markets," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 197-200.
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