Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy
The Elasticity of Trust: How to Promote Trust in the Arab Middle East and the United States
Bohnet, Iris, Benedikt Herrmann, Mohamad Al-Ississ, Andrea Robbett, Khalid Al-Yahia, and Richard Zeckhauser. "The Elasticity of Trust: How to Promote Trust in the Arab Middle East and the United States." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP10-031, June 2010.
To trust is to risk. When we lend someone money, we make ourselves vulnerable, hoping or expecting that the borrower will reward our trust and return the money at a later stage, possibly with interest or a reciprocal favor added. This paper examines whether willingness to trust follows the same logic, that is, whether it responds to changes in the expected value of trusting, much like willingness to take risk responds to changes in the expected value of risk taking in various countries of the Arab Middle East, namely, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and in the United States.