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Intention-based reciprocity and signaling of intentions

Séverine Toussaert

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 137, issue C, 132-144

Abstract: Many experiments find that trust intentions are a key determinant of prosociality. If intentions matter, then prosociality should depend on whether trust intentions can be credibly conveyed. This conjecture is formalized and tested in a noisy trust game where I vary the extent to which trust can be credibly signaled. I find that the introduction of noise threatens the onset of trust relations and induces players to form more pessimistic beliefs. Therefore policies that increase transparency of the decision-making environment may foster prosociality. However, the potential impact of such policies could be limited by a large heterogeneity in how individuals respond to changes in their information environment.

Keywords: Trust; Intentions; Reciprocity; Noise; Signaling; Experimental economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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