Different Measures of the Trust-level and their Impact on Cooperation

    We investigate the relationship between trust and cooperation from a set of experimental data. We employ Trust Game and General Social Survey (GSS) to measure an individual's level of trust and use the amount of investment in public goods game as a variable level of cooperation.

    We found that the level of trust are inherent consisten in both measurement methods. Whenever we control for altruism, we find that most questions in GSS concernin the attitude of people are good predictors for trusting actions. Furthermore, we investigated the endogeneity of the individual's trust and cooperative behavior data using IV, and control the individual differences and subject's altruism and risk preferences. 

    We found that the trust level measured from the experiment shows a significant positive correlation with cooperation, while the trust measured from questionnaire is not significantly correlated with cooperation. These specific data indicate that the hypothesis, that trust can promote the level of cooperation, is dependent on the specific measurement of trust.