Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History

  title={Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History},
  author={Joyce E. Berg and John Dickhaut and Kevin McCabe},
  journal={Games and Economic Behavior},
Abstract We designed an experiment to study trust and reciprocity in an investment setting. This design controls for alternative explanations of behavior including repeat game reputation effects, contractual precommitments, and punishment threats. Observed decisions suggest that reciprocity exists as a basic element of human behavior and that this is accounted for in the trust extended to an anonymous counterpart. A second treatment, social history, identifies conditions which strengthen the… 

Figures and Tables from this paper


This paper identifies contexts in which trust and reciprocation are likely to arise. Using an experimental trust game we examine the influence of country, social distance and communication on trust

Conditional reciprocity in the investment game

The Economic Impacts of Altruism, Trust and Reciprocity: An Experimental Approach to Social Capital

This paper experimentally measures the ‘social capital’ of altruism, trust and reciprocity and empirically explores the impact of these norms on economic well-being. Using an experimental economic

Trust and Reciprocity

This survey explores the contributions of behavioral economics, laboratory experiments, and field experiments to the understanding of the economics of trust, trustworthiness, and reciprocal behavior and identifies theory and experiments that have identified trust and reciprocity in economics and human behavior.

Altruism and Gender in the Trust Game

This paper analyses gender differences in the trust game. Our experiment implements the triadic design proposed by Cox (2004) to discriminate between transfers resulting from trust or trustworthiness

Cooperation in social dilemmas, trust and reciprocity

Trust, Reciprocity, and Rules

In the absence of enforceable contracts, many economic and personal interactions rely on trust and reciprocity. Research shows that although this reliance often works well, sometimes it breaks down.

Reputation or Reciprocity? An Experimental Investigation

Recent evidence highlights the importance of social norms in many economic relations. However, many of these relationships are long-term and provide repeated game incentives for performance. We

Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History: A Re-examination

Berg et al. (Games and Economic Behavior, 10, pp. 122–142, 1995) study trust and reciprocity in an investment setting. They find significant amounts of trust and reciprocity and conclude that trust

Trust, reciprocity and favors in cooperative relationships

We study trust, reciprocity, and favors in a repeated trust game with private information. In our main analysis, players are willing to exhibit trust and thereby facilitate cooperative gains only if



Preferences, property rights, and anonymity in bargaining games

Research on ultimatum and dictator games has found that because of "fairness" first movers in such games offer more than noncooperative game theory predicts. We find that if the right to be the first

Efficiency by trust in fairness? multiperiod ultimatum bargaining experiments with an increasing cake

Previous ultimatum bargaining experiments have shown that bargainers face the conflict whether to exploit bargaining power or to comply with basic norms of distributive justice. In multiperiod

Entitlements, Rights, and Fairness: An Experimental Examination of Subjects' Concepts of Distributive Justice

THE research reported in this paper arose from a previous experimental study conducted by the authors.' That study involved bargains struck between two subjects who had opposing payoff functions and

The Coase Theorem: Some Experimental Tests

IN The Problem of Social Cost,1 Ronald Coase investigated the economic effects of liability rules for externalities when the affected parties can bargain with each other. More specifically, Coase

A Further Test of Noncooperative Bargaining Theory: Comment

A great deal of attention has recently been devoted to providing noncooperative game theory foundations to bargaining problems, (compare Ingolf Stahl, 1972, and Ariel Rubinstein, 1982). This approach

Economics from a Biological Viewpoint

The subject includes both material aspects of these interrelations (the geographical distributions of species in relation to one another, their respective numbers, physical properties like size differences between the sexes) and behavioral aspects (why some species are territorial while others flock).

" The Role of Experience for Testing Bargaining Theory in Experiments , "

  • Res . Exp . Econ .
  • 1993

" Replicability , Fairness and Pay in Experiments with Simple Bargaining Games , "

  • Games Econ . Behav .
  • 1994