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Learning to trust strangers: an evolutionary perspective

Pierre Courtois and Tarik Tazdaït

Working Papers from LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier

Abstract: What if living in a relatively trustworthy society was sufficient to blindly trust strangers? In this paper we interpret generalized trust as a learning process and analyse the trust game paradox in light of the replicator dynamics. Given that trust inevitably implies doubts about others, we assume incomplete information and study the dynamics of trust in buyer-supplier purchase transactions. Considering a world made of “good” and “bad” suppliers, we show that the trust game admits a unique evolutionarily stable strategy: buyers may trust strangers if, on the whole, it is not too risky to do so. Examining the situation where some players may play, either as trustor or as trustee, we show that this result is robust.

Pages: 15 pages
Date: 2011-02, Revised 2011-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cta, nep-evo, nep-gth and nep-soc
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http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2011-06.pdf First version, 2011 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Learning to trust strangers: an evolutionary perspective (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Learning to trust strangers: an evolutionary perspective (2012)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:lam:wpaper:11-06

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