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What is Trustworthiness and What Drives It?

James Cox (), Rudolf Kerschbamer () and Daniel Neururer

No 2014-06, Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series from Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Abstract: This paper reports the results of experiments designed to isolate the impact of various combinations of the following motives on trustworthiness: (i) unconditional other-regarding preferences -- like altruism, inequality aversion, quasi-maximin, etc.; (ii) deal-responsiveness -- reacting to actions that allow for a mutual improvement by adopting behavior that implies a mutual improvement; (iii) gift-responsiveness -- reacting to choices that allow the trustee to obtain an improvement by adopting actions that benefit the trustor; and (iv) vulnerability-responsiveness -- reacting to the vulnerability of the trustor by adopting actions that do not hurt the trustor. Our results indicate that -- besides unconditional other-regarding preferences -- vulnerability-responsiveness is an important determinant of trustworthiness even in cases where the vulnerability of the trustor does not come together with a gift to the trustee. Motivated by our empirical findings we provide formal definitions of trust and trustworthiness based on revealed willingness to accept vulnerability and the response to it.

Keywords: trustworthiness; trust; trust game; investment game; deal-responsiveness; gift-responsiveness; vulnerability-responsiveness; generosity; reciprocity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C70 C91 D63 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37
Date: 2014-09, Revised 2005-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-gth, nep-hpe and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2014-06.pdf First version, 2014 (application/pdf)
http://excen.gsu.edu/workingpapers/GSU_EXCEN_WP_2016-03.pdf Revised version, 2016 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: What is trustworthiness and what drives it? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: What is trustworthiness and what drives it? (2014) Downloads
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