Thöni, Christian Tyran, Jean-Robert Wengström, Erik
NRN Working Paper, NRN: The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State 1019
We show that the standard trust question routinely used in social capital research is importantly related to cooperation behavior and we provide evidence on the microfoundation of this relation. We run a large-scale public goods experiment over the internet in Denmark using a design that enables us to disentangle preferences for cooperation from beliefs about others cooperation. We find that the standard trust question is a proxy for cooperation preferences rather than beliefs about others cooperation. Moreover, we show that the fairness question, a recently proposed alternative to the standard trust question, is also related to cooperation behavior but operates through beliefs rather than preferences.
Social capital Trust Fairness Public goods Cooperation Experiment