Using a canonical trust game, we investigate whether the inequality of endowment between trustor and trustee and the acquired versus permanent financial state affect trust and trustworthiness. We found that trust and trustworthiness are reference-dependent and that individuals with permanent financial state receive more trust and are more trustworthy than others. In our experiment, unequal endowments do not significantly affect trust, but trustworthiness increases significantly when the trustor is poorer.
The interplay of inequality and reference dependence with trust: an experimental study
11 May 2015