Digital Communication and Swift Trust

GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne, WP 1909 – February, 2019

Posted: 12 Mar 2019

See all articles by Zakaria Babutsidze

Zakaria Babutsidze

SKEMA Business School

Nobuyuki Hanaki

Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion (GREDEG)

Adam Zylbersztejn

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE)

Date Written: February 26, 2019

Abstract

We experimentally study the effect of the mode of digital communication on the emergence of swift trust in a principal-agent relationship. We consider three modes of communication: plain text, audio, and video. Communication is pre-play, one-way, and unrestricted, but its content is homogenized across treatments. Overall, both audio and video messages have a positive (and similar) effect on trust compared to plain text; however, the magnitude of these effects depends on the content of agent’s message (promise to act trustworthily vs. no such promise). In all conditions, we observe a positive effect of the agent’s promise on the principal’s trust. We also find that providing visual cues about the sender promotes trust and helps overcome gender favoritism in females.

Keywords: Digital Communication, Trust, Hidden Action, Principal-Agent Relationship, Promise

JEL Classification: C72, D83

Suggested Citation

Babutsidze, Zakaria and Hanaki, Nobuyuki and Zylbersztejn, Adam, Digital Communication and Swift Trust (February 26, 2019). GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne, WP 1909 – February, 2019 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3343329 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3343329

Zakaria Babutsidze (Contact Author)

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Lille
France

Nobuyuki Hanaki

Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion (GREDEG) ( email )

250, rue Albert Einstein
Valbonne, 06560
France

Adam Zylbersztejn

University of Lyon 2 - Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE) ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France

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