Disclosure Is a Gift That Encourages Trust and Reciprocity

41 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020

See all articles by Satoshi Taguchi

Satoshi Taguchi

Doshisha University

Yoshio Kamijo

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics

Date Written: September 1, 2020


Information disclosure is important for the economic well-being of society. Furthermore, given various issues, such as disclosure related to corporate social responsibility and scientific communication between scientists and society, the state of information disclosure is closely related to societal trust. However, the current stock markets are increasingly biased toward short-term transactions, and exchanges of information over the Internet are becoming more anonymous, meaning that they do not lead to long-term connections. Therefore, the conventional means of building trust indirectly over the long term may no longer be sufficient.

We experimentally examine the impact of varying intentions behind information disclosures on trust and reciprocity during short-term relationships where reputations cannot be established. We use a trust game with asymmetric information and conduct laboratory experiments, comparing one unintentional disclosure condition and two intentional disclosure conditions. The results reveal that information disclosure promotes investments and returns under all three conditions. Further, compared with unintentional disclosure, intentional disclosure fosters greater trust and reciprocity. Our results also show that intentional information disclosure also weakens the trade-off between efficiency and fairness in society.

Our study sheds light on the merits of intentional disclosures in the modern age, in which increasingly anonymized and short-term human relationships have destroyed the premises upon which the formation of reputation was previously based. The conclusion of this research also suggests the necessity of emphasizing the intention behind information disclosure regarding, for example, the design of systems for companies to disclose environmental information and the ways scientific communication should be carried out.

Keywords: Disclosure, Trust Game, Gift Exchange, Intention

JEL Classification: D03. D82. M41

Suggested Citation

Taguchi, Satoshi and Kamijo, Yoshio, Disclosure Is a Gift That Encourages Trust and Reciprocity (September 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3692382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3692382

Satoshi Taguchi (Contact Author)

Doshisha University ( email )

Karasuma-Imadegawa Kamigyo
Kyoto 602-8580

Yoshio Kamijo

Waseda University - School of Political Science and Economics ( email )

1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Tokyo 169-8050

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