Income and Trustworthiness

John Ermisch, Diego Gambetta

Sociological Science, August 17, 2016
DOI 10.15195/v3.a30

We employ a behavioral measure of trustworthiness obtained from a trust game carried out with a sample of the general British population, the individuals of which were extensively interviewed on earlier occasions. Our basic finding is that given past income, higher current income increases trustworthiness and, given current income, higher past income reduces trustworthiness. Past income determines the level of financial aspirations, and whether or not these aspirations are fulfilled by the level of current income affects trustworthiness.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
John Ermisch: Department of Sociology and Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Email: john.ermisch@sociology.ox.ac.uk

Diego Gambetta: Department of Sociology and Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Email: diego.gambetta@eui.eu

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the U.K. Economic and Social Research Council (People’s Trust: A Survey-based Experiment, RES-000-22-2241) for financial support for the research.

  • Citation: Ermisch, John, and Diego Gambetta. 2016. “Income and Trustworthiness.” Sociological Science 3: 710-729.
  • Received: March 9, 2016
  • Accepted: April 13, 2016
  • Editors: Jesper Sørensen, Delia Baldassarri
  • DOI: 10.15195/v3.a30

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