Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2005:26: Trust in surveys and games - a matter of money and location?

Håkan Holm () and Paul Nystedt ()
Additional contact information
Håkan Holm: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Paul Nystedt: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper explores methods to study trust. Answers to survey questions and choices in a trust game are obtained from subjects approached by mail executing their tasks at home as well as from classroom subjects. No discernable differences between the results obtained by these methods were observed. Furthermore, one group of subjects played the trust game with hypothetical payments. This changed trust behavior dramatically, whereas trustworthiness was unaffected. Subjects without financial incentives exhibited less trust. Trust choices with hypothetical payments were significantly correlated with survey trust answers whereas there was no such correlation for the corresponding choices with real payments.

Keywords: Trust; Financial incentives; Location; Survey answers

JEL-codes: C72; C81; C90; C93

29 pages, First version: April 7, 2005. Revised: August 15, 2005.

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