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Sutter, Matthias; Kocher, Martin G. (2007): Trust and trustworthiness across different age groups. In: Games and Economic Behavior, Vol. 59, No. 2: pp. 364-382
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We examine the degree of trust and trustworthiness in an experimental trust game with 662 participants from six different age groups, ranging from 8-year-olds to retired persons. Although both trust and trustworthiness have been identified as fundamental pillars for efficient economic interactions, economic research has devoted little attention to measuring their strength in different age groups. In our experiment subjects interact with members of the same age group. We find that trust increases almost linearly from early childhood to early adulthood, but stays rather constant within different adult age groups. Trustworthiness prevails in all age groups.