Who trusts strangers? findings and implications from behavioral trust experiments
High levels of general trust are critical to economic growth and the integration of firms into new markets, but what factors influence the willingness to trust strangers? I examine the circumstances under which individuals across different societies are willing to trust in anonymous counterparts by aggregating and systematically analyzing a widely employed and replicated behavioral measure of trust – the Berg, Dickhaut and McCabe (1995) trust game experiments. Findings indicate that situational factors such as the relative value of what is at stake, the relative well-being of the exchange counterpart, as well as broader institutional factors including levels of government corruption influence a the willingness to trust in anonymous others.