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Title:A Nation-Wide Laboratory: Examining Trust and Trustworthiness by Integrating Behavioral Experiments into Representative Surveys PDF Logo
Authors:Fehr, Ernst
Fischbacher, Urs
von Rosenbladt, Bernhard
Schupp, Jürgen
Wagner, Gert G.
Issue Date:2003
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion paper series 715
Abstract:Typically, laboratory experiments suffer from homogeneous subject pools and self-selection 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 noninteracting 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.
Subjects:experiment
survey
trust
trustworthiness
altruism
JEL:D84
J24
C42
A13
C93
C92
C82
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Publikationen von Forscherinnen und Forschern des DIW
IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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