Trust, Risk and Betrayal


Iris Bohnet,, & Zeckhauser, R. J. (2003). Trust, Risk and Betrayal. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization , 55 (4), 467–484 . Rochester, {NY}, Social Science Research Network.

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Using experiments, we examine whether the decision to trust a stranger in a one-shot interaction is equivalent to taking a risky bet, or if a trust decision entails an additional risk premium to balance the costs of trust betrayal. We compare a binary-choice Trust game with a structurally identical, binary-choice Risky Dictator game with good or bad outcomes. We elicit individuals' minimum acceptable probabilities (MAPs) of getting the good outcome such that they would prefer the chance to the sure payoff. First movers state higher {MAPs} in the Trust game than in situations where nature determines the outcome.

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Last updated on 11/24/2014