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The glue of the economic system: the effect of relational goods on trust and trustworthiness

  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()

  • Giacomo Degli Antoni

    ()

  • Marco Faillo

    ()

  • Luigi Mittone

    ()

The role of “relational goods” is almost unexplored in the literature, yet our experimental results document that, even in their weakest form (opportunity of meeting an unknown player at the end of an experimental game), they significantly affect important “lubricants” of economic activity such as trust and trustworthiness and generate significant departures from the standard Nash equilibrium outcome in trust (investment) games. Our findings suggest that relational goods are an important “source of energy” in economic interactions and that the study of this “neglected particle” of socioeconomic life may produce significant advancements on both positive and normative economics.

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File URL: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it/papers/papero07_05.pdf
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Paper provided by Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series CEEL Working Papers with number 0705.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpce:0705
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Inama 5, 38100 Trento
Phone: +39-461-882201
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Web page: http://www-ceel.economia.unitn.it

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
  2. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
  4. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
  5. Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. James Andreoni, 2001. "Giving According to GARP," Theory workshop papers 339, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Bohnet, Iris & Frey, Bruno S., 1999. "The sound of silence in prisoner's dilemma and dictator games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 43-57, January.
  8. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
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