Do Sharing Economy Platforms Foster Trust in Others? Evidence from a Survey Experiment
28 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019 Last revised: 28 Jul 2020
Date Written: july 20, 2020
The rise of digital platforms, where peers can share goods or services, has drawn attention to their ability to foster trust amongst their members. Combining experimental methods with an online survey of 1,334 representative internet users in France, we investigate whether users of Sharing Economy Platforms (SEPs) are more likely to cooperate in the context of a trust game. Our main findings show that trust in others does not increase with the use of SEPs. Moreover, our experimental design allowed us to test whether belonging to the same peer-to-peer platform (BlaBlaCar, in particular) created interpersonal trust. We show that a BlaBlaCar user is not likely to send more money to another BlaBlaCar user in a trust game. This finding suggests that trust built in digital platforms is not transferable elsewhere.
Keywords: Trust, Sharing Economy, Platforms
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