Guilt averse or reciprocal? Looking at behavioral motivations in the trust game

Springer Nature
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of the Economic Science Association, 2018, 4 (1), pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
For the trust game, recent models of belief-dependent motivations make opposite predictions regarding the correlation between back transfers and secondorder beliefs of the trustor: while reciprocity models predict a negative correlation, guilt-aversion models predict a positive one. This paper tests the hypothesis that the inconclusive results in the previous studies investigating the reaction of trustees to their beliefs are due to the fact that reciprocity and guilt aversion are behaviorally relevant for different subgroups and that their impact cancels out in the aggregate. We find little evidence in support of this hypothesis and conclude that type heterogeneity is unlikely to explain previous results.
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