Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/234940
Authors: 
Babutsidze, Zakaria
Hanaki, Nobuyuki
Zylbersztejn, Adam
Year of Publication: 
2021
Series/Report no.: 
ISER Discussion Paper No. 1128
Abstract: 
We experimentally study the effect of the mode of digital communication on the emergence of trust in a principal-agent relationship. We consider three modes of communication that differ in the capacity to transmit nonverbal content: plain text, audio, and video. Communication is pre-play, one-way, and unrestricted, but its verbal content is homogenized across treatments. Overall, both audio and video messages have a positive (and similar) effect on trust as compared to plain text; however, the magnitude of these effects depends on the verbal content of agent's message (promise to act trustworthily vs. no such promise). In all conditions, we observe a positive effect of the agent's promise on the principal's trust. We also report that trust in female principals is sensitive to the availability of nonverbal cues about their partners.
Subjects: 
Digital communication
Trust
Hidden action
Nonverbal content
Principal-agentrelationship
Promises
JEL: 
C72
D83
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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