May 2013

No. 7411: Can You Trust the Good Guys? Trust Within and Between Groups with Different Missions

published in: Economics Letters, 2013, 121, 400-404

NGOs and other non-profit organizations attract workers who strongly identify themselves with their missions. We study whether these "good guys" are more trustworthy and how such pronounced group identities affect trust and trustworthiness within the groups and toward out-groups. We find that subjects who strongly identify themselves with a non-profit mission are more trustworthy in a minimal group setting but also harshly discriminate against out-groups when subjects are grouped by the missions they identify themselves with.