Trust Games: A Meta-Analysis
Noel D. Johnson
George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center
American University - Kogod School of Business
November 3, 2010
Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 5, 2011
We collect data from 162 replications of the Berg, Dickhaut, and McCabe Investment game (the trust game) involving more than 23,000 participants. We conduct a meta-analysis of these games in order to identify the effect of experimental protocols and geographic variation on this popular behavioral measure of trust and trustworthiness. Our findings indicate that the amount sent in the game is significantly affected by whether payment is random, and whether play is with a simulated counterpart. Trustworthiness is significantly affected by the amount by which the experimenter multiplies the amount sent, whether subjects play both roles in the experiment, and whether the subjects are students. We find robust evidence that subjects send less in trust games conducted in Africa than those in North America.
Keywords: Trust, Trust Game, Meta-Analysis, Cross-Cultural ExperimentsAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 4, 2010 ; Last revised: March 20, 2012
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