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How do People Play a Repeated Trust Game? Experimental Evidence


  • Bornhorst, Fabian

    (Department of Economics, European University Institute)

  • Ichino, Andrea

    (Department of Economics, European University Institute)

  • Kirchkamp, Oliver

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Schlag, Karl H.

    (Economics Dept. 3, University of Bonn)

  • Winter, Eyal

    (Center of Rationality and Interactive Decision Theory, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)


We run an experiment that implements a finitely repeated version of the trust game in which players can choose in each period with whom to interact. Change in trust and trustworthiness in terms of previous experience is statistically investigated where confounding factors are controlled for. Motives such as reinforcement learning, reciprocity and rationality are useful to explain findings. Overall we find a high persistence of choice and uncover more trust and trustworthiness than in the one shot experiments. Towards the end of the game the degree of trust and trustworthiness decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Bornhorst, Fabian & Ichino, Andrea & Kirchkamp, Oliver & Schlag, Karl H. & Winter, Eyal, 2004. "How do People Play a Repeated Trust Game? Experimental Evidence," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 04-43, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:04-43 Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, and from the Research Council of the EUI is gratefully acknowledged.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Duffy, John & Nagel, Rosemarie, 1997. "On the Robustness of Behaviour in Experimental "Beauty Contest" Games," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1684-1700, November.
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    3. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-969, September.
    4. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Bornhorst, Fabian & Ichino, Andrea & Schlag, Karl & Winter, Eyal, 2004. "Trust and Trustworthiness Among Europeans: South-North Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 4378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Chaim Fershtman & Uri Gneezy, 2001. "Discrimination in a Segmented Society: An Experimental Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 351-377.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniela Di Cagno & Emanuela Sciubba, 2008. "Social Networks and Trust: not the Experimental Evidence you may Expect," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0801, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    2. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Niels Große, 2010. "Can Competition Spoil Reciprocity? - A Laboratory Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2923, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Ewa Zawojska, 2014. "The role of dynamics for trust development. An experimental study," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 38.
    4. Di Cagno, Daniela & Sciubba, Emanuela, 2010. "Trust, trustworthiness and social networks: Playing a trust game when networks are formed in the lab," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 156-167, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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