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The drunk side of trust: Social capital generation at gathering events


  • Giuseppe Attanasi
  • Stefania Bortolotti
  • Simona Cicognani
  • Antonio Filippin


We present a case study to assess the relation between alcohol intake and trust generation at a cultural gathering event. Over a span of six editions (2012–2017), we interviewed and elicited blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of nearly 2,000 attendees of the final concert of “La Notte della Taranta Festival”, the biggest concert in Europe dedicated to traditional music (about 200,000 participants per year). Once controlling for the BAC of respondents, and for the belief about own and others’ BAC, we find that alcohol, consumption during the event is positively correlated with trust generation towards other attendees. Furthermore, looking at the amount of trust devoted to drinkers (the drunk side of trust), we find a positive correlation with both own measured BAC and own believed BAC. Considered together, we argue that these two results are indicative of endogenous group formation in terms of alcohol consumption: drinking during event attendance positively correlates with increased trust to other drinkers in the event audience.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuseppe Attanasi & Stefania Bortolotti & Simona Cicognani & Antonio Filippin, 2017. "The drunk side of trust: Social capital generation at gathering events," Working Papers of BETA 2017-21, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2017-21

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    Cited by:

    1. Giuseppe Attanasi & Massimo Egidi & Elena Manzoni, 2023. "Target-the-Two: a lab-in-the-field experiment on routinization," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 1-33, January.
    2. Giuseppe Attanasi & Francesco Passarelli & Giulia Urso & Hana Cosic, 2019. "Privatization of a Tourism Event: Do Attendees Perceive it as a Risky Cultural Lottery?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(9), pages 1-16, May.
    3. Giuseppe Attanasi & James C. Cox & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2023. "Festival Games: Inebriated and Sober Altruists," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2022-03, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    4. Saeid Abbasian & Anna Lundberg, 2020. "Between Fire and Ice: Experiences of the Persian Fire Festival in a Nordic Setting," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(24), pages 1-16, December.
    5. Woojin Lee & Haeyoon Kwon, 2021. "The Influence of Personal Involvement on Festival Attendees’ Revisit Intention: Food and Wine Attendees’ Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(14), pages 1-17, July.

    More about this item


    Cultural event; Instantaneous social capital; Generalized trust; Blood alcohol concentration; Tourist.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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