Age and the Development of Trust and Reciprocity
37 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2004
Date Written: December 2003
We examine the degree of trust and reciprocity in an experimental trust game with 662 participants from six different age groups, ranging from 8 year old primary school children to retired persons in their late sixties. Although both trust and reciprocity have been identified as fundamental pillars for smooth and efficient economic interactions, economic research has devoted surprisingly little attention to their development with age. Our results provide clear evidence that trust in anonymous partners increases almost linearly from early childhood to early adulthood, but stays constant afterwards. Reciprocity prevails in all age groups, although its degree also seems to increase with age.
Keywords: Trust, reciprocity, age, development, experiment
JEL Classification: C72, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation