Trust and Promises over Time
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 304-320, August 2022
32 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018 Last revised: 28 Jul 2022
Date Written: May 30, 2019
Using a large-scale hybrid laboratory and online trust experiment with and without pre-play communication, we investigate how the passage of time affects trust, trustworthiness, and cooperation. Communication (predominantly through promises) raises cooperation, trust, and trustworthiness by about 50 percent. This result holds even when three weeks pass between the time of the trustee's message/the trustor's decision to trust and the time of the trustee's contribution choice and even when this contribution choice is made outside of the lab. Delay between the beginning of the interaction and the time to reciprocate neither substantially alters trust or trustworthiness nor affects how subjects communicate.
Keywords: trust, promises, persistence, trustworthiness, delay
JEL Classification: C91, C72, D83, D64, A13, K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation