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Is it trust we model? An attempt to calculate the non-calculative


  • S. Rosenkranz
  • U. Weitzel


In this paper we characterize a situation in which non-calculative trust has to play a role in the decision to cooperate. We then analyze the given situation in game theoretical terms and distinguish those aspects of players' decisions that are cooperative from those that may be interpreted as being trustful. We argue that the cooperative aspect relates to incentives while the trustful (and thus non-calculative) aspect of the decision is related to the framing of the situation.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Rosenkranz & U. Weitzel, 2005. "Is it trust we model? An attempt to calculate the non-calculative," Working Papers 05-12, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0512

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kreps, David M. & Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Rational cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 245-252, August.
    2. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
    3. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Building trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 417-437, January.
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    5. Sugden, Robert, 1995. "A Theory of Focal Points," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 533-550, May.
    6. Casajus, Andre, 2000. "Focal Points in Framed Strategic Forms," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 263-291, August.
    7. Nooteboom, B. & Berger, H. & Noorderhaven, N.G., 1997. "Effects of trust and governance on relational risk," Other publications TiSEM 8e83932e-064c-40e8-afe7-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    9. Willinger, Marc & Keser, Claudia & Lohmann, Christopher & Usunier, Jean-Claude, 2003. "A comparison of trust and reciprocity between France and Germany: Experimental investigation based on the investment game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 447-466, August.
    10. Maarten Janssen, 2001. "Rationalizing Focal Points," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 119-148, March.
    11. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1989. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 447-480, March.
    12. Oliver Hart & Bengt Holmstrom, 1986. "The Theory of Contracts," Working papers 418, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    13. Clive Bull, 1987. "The Existence of Self-Enforcing Implicit Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 147-159.
    14. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2001. "Theories of Fairness and Reciprocity," Discussion Papers in Economics 14, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    15. Eckel, Catherine C. & Wilson, Rick K., 2004. "Is trust a risky decision?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 447-465, December.
    16. Bohnet, Iris & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "Trust and trustworthiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 443-445, December.
    17. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Understanding trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 219-240, October.
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    More about this item


    trust; framing; focal points; alliances; cooperation;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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