CFDP 2129R

The Persistent Power of Promises

Author(s): 

Publication Date: April 2018

Revision Date: May 2019

Pages: 27

Abstract: Using a large-scale hybrid laboratory and online trust experiment with pre-play communication this paper investigates how the passage of time affects trust, trustworthiness, and cooperation. We provide evidence for the persistent power of communication. Even when three weeks pass between messages and actual choices and even when these choices are made outside of the lab, communication (predominantly through the use of promises) raises cooperation, trust, and trustworthiness by about 50 percent. Delays between the beginning of the interaction and the time to reciprocate neither substantially alter trust or trustworthiness nor affect how subjects choose to communicate.

Keywords: Trust, Promises, Persistence, Trustworthiness, Delay

JEL Classification Codes: C91, C72, D83

JEL Classification Codes: C91C72D83

See CFDP Version(s): CFDP 2129