Trustworthiness in the Financial Industry

Posted: 12 Aug 2020 Last revised: 18 Feb 2022

See all articles by Andrej Gill

Andrej Gill

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Matthias Heinz

University of Cologne; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Heiner Schumacher

KU Leuven

Matthias Sutter

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 10, 2020


The financial industry has been struggling with widespread misconduct and public mistrust. Here we argue that the lack of trust into the financial industry may stem from the selection of subjects with little, if any, trustworthiness into the financial industry. We identify the social preferences of business and economics students, and follow up on their first job placements. We find that during college, students who want to start their career in the financial industry are substantially less trustworthy. Most importantly, actual job placements several years later confirm this association. The job market in the financial industry does not screen out less trustworthy subjects. If anything the opposite seems to be the case: Even among students who are highly motivated to work in finance after graduation, those who actually start their career in finance are significantly less trustworthy than those who work elsewhere.

Keywords: Trustworthiness, Financial Industry, Selection, Social Preferences, Experiment

JEL Classification: C91, G20, M51

Suggested Citation

Gill, Andrej and Heinz, Matthias and Schumacher, Heiner and Sutter, Matthias, Trustworthiness in the Financial Industry (August 10, 2020). MPI Collective Goods Discussion Paper, No. 2020/19. A revised version with the new title "Social Preferences of Young Professionals and the Financial Industry" is forthcoming with Management Science in 2022., Available at SSRN: or

Andrej Gill

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz ( email )

Saarstr. 21
Jakob Welder-Weg 4
Mainz, 55122

Matthias Heinz

University of Cologne ( email )

Cologne, 50923

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

United Kingdom

Heiner Schumacher

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000

Matthias Sutter (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113

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