The Persistent Power of Promises

25 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018  

Florian Ederer

Yale School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Frédéric Schneider

Yale School of Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 27, 2018

Abstract

This paper investigates how the passage of time affects trust, trustworthiness, and cooperation. We use a hybrid lab and online experiment to provide the first evidence for the persistent power of communication. Even when 3 weeks pass between messages and actual choices, communication raises cooperation, trust, and trustworthiness by about 50 percent. Lags between the beginning of the interaction and the time to respond do not substantially alter the trustworthiness of the responder. Our results further suggest that the findings of the large experimental literature on trust that focuses on laboratory scenarios, in which senders are forced to choose their actions immediately after communicating with recipients, may translate to more ecologically valid settings in which individuals choose actions outside the lab and long after they initially made promises.

Keywords: Trust, Promises, Persistence, Trustworthiness, Delay, Experiment

JEL Classification: A13, C91, D03, C72, D64, K12

Suggested Citation

Ederer, Florian and Schneider, Frédéric, The Persistent Power of Promises (April 27, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3169881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3169881

Florian Ederer (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.som.yale.edu/florianederer/

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Frédéric Schneider

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

HOME PAGE: http://fredericgschneider.com

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