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Rational and Biased Trust

  • Abigail Barr

    (Centre for the Study of African Economies)

This paper investigates whether expectations of trustworthiness and resulting acts of trust accord with an objective model of trustworthiness or are biased. Combining experimental and survey data, I find that Ghanaian workers appropriately take account of the religiousness of trustees, but expect those with more children to be less as opposed to more trustworthy, and females to be less and the associationally active to be more trustworthy when they are neither. Trustors do not account for the negative impact on trustworthiness of various recent negative experiences and the positive impact of involvement in voluntary work, full time work, and indigenousness.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0409068.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 28 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0409068
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28
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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & von Rosenbladt, Bernhard & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2003. "A nation-wide laboratory: Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experiments into representative surveys," Discussion Papers 2003/1, Technische Universität Berlin, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Charles Bellemare & Sabine Kroger, 2005. "On Representative Social Capital," Cahiers de recherche 0504, CIRPEE.
  3. Holm, Håkan & Nystedt, Paul, 2002. "Intra-Generational Trust - a Semi-Experimental Study of Trust Among Different Generations," Working Papers 2002:16, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  4. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
  5. Fershtman, Chaim & Gneezy, Uri & Verboven, Frank, 2002. "Discrimination and Nepotism: The Efficiency of the Anonymity Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 3175, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Trust in Large Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2009. "Reciprocity in the workplace," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 99-112, March.
  8. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2004. "Trust, risk and betrayal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 467-484, December.
  9. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1999. "Education and Social Capital," NBER Working Papers 7121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bellemare, Charles & Kröger, Sabine, 2003. "On Representative Trust," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,24, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  11. Abigail Barr & Pieter Serneels, 2004. "Wages and Reciprocity in the Workplace," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-18, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  12. Bouckaert, Jan & Dhaene, Geert, 2004. "Inter-ethnic trust and reciprocity: results of an experiment with small businessmen," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 869-886, November.
  13. Holm, Håkan, 2000. "What’s in a Name? - An ethnical discrimination experiment," Working Papers 2000:3, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 16 Apr 2001.
  14. Scharlemann, Jorn P. W. & Eckel, Catherine C. & Kacelnik, Alex & Wilson, Rick K., 2001. "The value of a smile: Game theory with a human face," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 617-640, October.
  15. Lazzarini, S. G. & Madalozzo, R. C & Artes, R. & Siqueira, J. O., 2004. "Measuring trust: An experiment in Brazil," Insper Working Papers wpe_42, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  16. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharn, 2003. "Gender Differences in Trust and Reciprocity," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 875, The University of Melbourne.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
  19. Buchan, Nancy & Croson, Rachel, 2004. "The boundaries of trust: own and others' actions in the US and China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 485-504, December.
  20. Abigail Barr, 2003. "Trust and expected trustworthiness: experimental evidence from zimbabwean villages," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 614-630, 07.
  21. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination In A Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377, February.
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