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

See all articles by Florian Ederer

Florian Ederer

Boston University - Markets, Public Policy, and Law; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Frédéric Schneider

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 30, 2019

Abstract

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

Ederer, Florian and Schneider, Frédéric, Trust and Promises over Time (May 30, 2019). American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 304-320, August 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3169881 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3169881

Florian Ederer (Contact Author)

Boston University - Markets, Public Policy, and Law ( email )

Boston, MA
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
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Belgium

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Frédéric Schneider

University of Cambridge - Judge Business School ( email )

Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1AG
United Kingdom

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