Gender differences in trust and reciprocity: the role of context and task familiarity

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dc.contributor.advisor Chaudhuri, A en
dc.contributor.author Li, Gary en
dc.date.accessioned 2011-09-15T03:08:53Z en
dc.date.issued 2011 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/7954 en
dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Prior studies exploring the propensity to trust and to reciprocate others’ trust report that by and large men are more trusting than women but women are more reciprocal. We explore whether gender differences in trust and reciprocity can be explained by appealing to strategic uncertainty and/or a lack of comprehension using the Berg et al. (1995) trust game. Subjects play the stage game for ten rounds with random re-matching. In our control condition subjects only get written instructions. In a second treatment we read the written instructions out loud. So now everyone knows that everyone has heard the same instructions read out loud. This is expected to remove strategic uncertainty about whether everyone has actually paid attention to the instructions or not. In a third – and the treatment of most interest to us – we not only read aloud the instructions, we also explain in detail the strategic imperatives of the game; the fact that both players can be better off if they trust and reciprocate that trust respectively but that self-interest suggests that senders should never send any money since they should not expect to get anything back. We find that in our control treatment (which allows for both strategic uncertainty and a lack of comprehension) men are more trusting and women are more reciprocal; however these differences disappear over time. When we only remove strategic uncertainty by reading the instructions out loud, we find there is no strong gender difference in trusting behavior, but contrary to prior studies we find men are more reciprocal. When we provide an explicit context to the game and read the instructions out loud thereby removing both strategic uncertainty and the lack of comprehension, we find men are more trusting and this difference remains over time. However, there are no gender differences in reciprocity behavior in this case. Our findings suggest that there are true underlying gender differences in trust but not in reciprocity. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/ en
dc.title Gender differences in trust and reciprocity: the role of context and task familiarity en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.discipline Economics en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 224891 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2011-09-15 en


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