Trust Games: A Meta-Analysis

Posted: 4 Nov 2010 Last revised: 20 Mar 2012

See all articles by Noel D. Johnson

Noel D. Johnson

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Alexandra Mislin

American University - Kogod School of Business

Date Written: November 3, 2010

Abstract

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 Experiments

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Noel D. and Mislin, Alexandra, Trust Games: A Meta-Analysis (November 3, 2010). Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 32, No. 5, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1702678 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1702678

Noel D. Johnson (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Alexandra Mislin

American University - Kogod School of Business ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20816-8044
United States

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