Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests

39 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2016

See all articles by Vittorio Pelligra

Vittorio Pelligra

Universita di Cagliari - Department of Economics

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University

Daniel John Zizzo

University of Queensland

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We consider the notions of static and dynamic reasonableness of requests in a trust game experiment. We vary systematically the experimental norm of what is expected from trustees to return to trustors, both in terms of level of each request and in terms of sequence of the requests. Static reasonableness matters in a self-biased way, in the sense that low requests justify returning less but high requests tend to be ignored. Dynamic reasonableness also matters, in the sense that, if requests keep increasing, trustees return less than if requests of different size are presented in random or decreasing order. Requests never systematically increase trustworthiness, but may decrease it.

Keywords: trust, trustworthiness, norms, reasonableness, moral wiggle room, moral licensing

JEL Classification: C91, D01, D03, D63

Suggested Citation

Pelligra, Vittorio and Reggiani, Tommaso and Zizzo, Daniel John, Responding to (Un)Reasonable Requests. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10189. Available at SSRN:

Vittorio Pelligra (Contact Author)

Universita di Cagliari - Department of Economics ( email )

V. S. Ignazio 17
Cagliari 09123, CA 09123

Tommaso Reggiani

Masaryk University ( email )

Zerotinovo nam. 9
60177 Brno, 603 00
Czech Republic

HOME PAGE: http://

Daniel John Zizzo

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia QLD 4072, Australia
Brisbane, Queensland


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