Trust, assurance, and inequality: A rational choice model of mutual trust

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The rational choice approach to trust has three problems: it has not explicitly explained findings verified in social psychological study of trust; it stands on a limited assumption of asymmetric relationship between a truster and a trustee; and it has not dealt with situations in which a rich person encounters a poor person. We build a game theoretic model of mutual trust to solve these problems. Then we analyze an equilibrium of the model and derive some implications from it. That is, the ratio between the transaction costs and the opportunity costs affects actors' trustfulness; a more trustworthy actor finds it easier to leave his/her group in search of higher returns; and a rich actor is more willing to trust his/her counterpart than a poor actor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Mathematical Sociology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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