A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Survey

41 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2003

See all articles by Ernst Fehr

Ernst Fehr

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Urs Fischbacher

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics

Bernhard von Rosenbladt

NFO Infratest Sozialforschung

Jürgen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Berlin University of Technology; German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)

Date Written: February 2003

Abstract

Typically, laboratory experiments suffer from homogeneous subject pools and selfselection biases. The usefulness of survey data is limited by measurement error and by the questionability of their behavioral relevance. Here we present a method integrating interactive experiments and representative surveys thereby overcoming crucial weaknesses of both approaches. One of the major advantages of our approach is that it allows for the integration of experiments, which require interaction among the participants, with a survey of non-interacting respondents in a smooth and inexpensive way. We illustrate the power of our approach with the analysis of trust and trustworthiness in Germany by combining representative survey data with representative behavioral data from a social dilemma experiment. We identify which survey questions intended to elicit people's trust correlate well with behaviorally exhibited trust in the experiment. People above the age of 65, highly skilled workers and people living in bigger households exhibit less trusting behavior. Foreign citizens, Catholics and people favoring the Social Democratic Party or the Christian Democratic Party exhibit more trust. People above the age of 65 and those in good health behave more trustworthy or more altruistically, respectively. People below the age of 35, the unemployed and people who say they are in favor of none of the political parties behave less trustworthy or less altruistically, respectively.

Keywords: Experiment, Survey, Trust, Trustworthiness, Altruism

JEL Classification: A13, C42, C82, C92, C93, D84, J24

Suggested Citation

Fehr, Ernst and Fischbacher, Urs and von Rosenbladt, Bernhard and Schupp, Juergen and Wagner, Gert G., A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Survey (February 2003). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 866; IZA Discussion Paper No. 715. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=385120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.385120

Ernst Fehr (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Blümlisalpstrasse 10
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
+41 1 634 3709 (Phone)
+41 1 634 4907 (Fax)

Urs Fischbacher

University of Konstanz - Faculty of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 10
78457 Konstanz
Germany

Bernhard Von Rosenbladt

NFO Infratest Sozialforschung ( email )

Landsberger Str. 338
80687 München
Germany
+49 89 560 0238 (Phone)
+49 89 560 0441 (Fax)

Juergen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, D-10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9238 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/deutsch/das_institut/mitarbeiter/innen/26652.html?uid=jschupp

Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität ( email )

Garystr. 55
I
Berlin, D-14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/soziologie/mitarbeiter/b_hochschullehrer/schupp.html

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows

Gert G. Wagner

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9200 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/programme/jsp/MA.jsp?language=en&uid=gwagner

Berlin University of Technology ( email )

Straße des 17
Berlin, 10623
Germany
+30 8 978 9283 (Phone)

German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) ( email )

DIW Berlin
10108 Berlin, Berlin
Germany
+49 30 8978 9290 (Phone)
+49 30 8978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw/en/soep

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