Understanding trust

Paola Sapienza, Anna Toldra-Simats*, Luigi Zingales

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


The World Values Survey (WVS) question on trust has been widely used to study the economic effect of trust. Recent work, however, questions its validity as an accurate measure of trust by showing that it is not correlated with the sender's behaviour in the Berg et al. trust game. What measure then should we trust to measure trust? In this article, we argue that the sender's behaviour in a trust game is driven both by beliefs and by preferences. In contrast, WVS-like measures capture mostly the belief-based component of a trust game.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1313-1332
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Journal
Issue number573
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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