Similarities and differences when building trust: The role of cultures

Fabian Bornhorst, Andrea Ichino, Oliver Kirchkamp, Karl H. Schlag, Eyal Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


We run an experiment in which students of different European nationalities are matched in groups of five and repeatedly choose with whom within their group they want to play a trust game. Participants observe of each other age, gender, nationality and number of siblings. The region of origin, "North" or "South" is a major determinant of success in the experiment. Participants tend to trust those they trusted before and who trusted them. We do not find evidence of regional discrimination per se. It is only the underlying and significant differences in behavior that translate through repeated interactions into differences in payoffs between the two regions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)260-283
Number of pages24
JournalExperimental Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We would like to thank the Research Council of EUI for financing this study, Francesco Caselli, Colin Crouch, Jaap Dronkers, Margaret Meyer, Massimo Motta, Soren Johansen, Jacques Ziller and seminar participants at Bocconi, the CEPR-PPS symposium, EUI, IIES, IZA, University of Bologna, University of Milan and UPF for insightful comments. We also thank Jessica Spataro for editorial assistance. Karl Schlag gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Department of Economics and Business of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Grant AL 12207, and from the Spanish Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, Grant MEC-SEJ2006-09993.


  • European regions
  • Experiments
  • Trust
  • Trustworthiness


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