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A Nation-Wide Laboratory - Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experimen


Fehr, Ernst; Fischbacher, Urs; von Rosenbladt, Bernhard; Schupp, Jürgen; Wagner, Gert G (2003). A Nation-Wide Laboratory - Examining trust and trustworthiness by integrating behavioral experimen. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 141, University of Zurich.

Abstract

"Typically, laboratory experiments suffer from homogeneous subject pools and self-selection biases. The usefulness of survey data is limited by measurement error and by the questionability of their behavioral relevance. Here we present a method integrating interactive experiments and representative surveys thereby overcoming crucial weaknesses of both approaches. One of the major advantages of our approach is that it allows for the integration of experiments, which require interaction among the participants, with a survey of non-interacting respondents in a smooth and inexpensive way. We illustrate the power of our approach with the analysis of trust and trustworthiness in Germany by combining representative survey data with representative behavioral data from a social dilemma experiment. We identify which survey questions intended to elicit people’s trust correlate well with behaviorally exhibited trust in the experiment. People above the age of 65, highly skilled workersnand people living in bigger households exhibit less trusting behavior. Foreign citizens, Catholics andnpeople favoring the Social Democratic Party or the Christian Democratic Party exhibit more trust.nPeople above the age of 65 and those in good health behave more trustworthy or more altruistically,nrespectively. People below the age of 35, the unemployed and people who say they are in favor ofnnone of the political parties behave less trustworthy or less altruistically, respectively."

Abstract

"Typically, laboratory experiments suffer from homogeneous subject pools and self-selection biases. The usefulness of survey data is limited by measurement error and by the questionability of their behavioral relevance. Here we present a method integrating interactive experiments and representative surveys thereby overcoming crucial weaknesses of both approaches. One of the major advantages of our approach is that it allows for the integration of experiments, which require interaction among the participants, with a survey of non-interacting respondents in a smooth and inexpensive way. We illustrate the power of our approach with the analysis of trust and trustworthiness in Germany by combining representative survey data with representative behavioral data from a social dilemma experiment. We identify which survey questions intended to elicit people’s trust correlate well with behaviorally exhibited trust in the experiment. People above the age of 65, highly skilled workersnand people living in bigger households exhibit less trusting behavior. Foreign citizens, Catholics andnpeople favoring the Social Democratic Party or the Christian Democratic Party exhibit more trust.nPeople above the age of 65 and those in good health behave more trustworthy or more altruistically,nrespectively. People below the age of 35, the unemployed and people who say they are in favor ofnnone of the political parties behave less trustworthy or less altruistically, respectively."

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2003
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2017 23:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html

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