An ERC Consolidator Grant (€ 2,000,000) has been awarded to Shaul Shalvi
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Consolidator Grant to Shaul Shalvi, Professor of Behavioural Ethics at the Amsterdam School of Economics (UvA) for his research project "Responsible sharing: Paving the path for transparent trust".
Project description: The collaborative economy is estimated to add €160-€572 billion to the EU economy. Faced with blurry definitions in this emerging market, regulators use a top-down approach and introduce regulations that often fail to consider users’ behaviour. Although considerable knowledge on top-down regulatory solutions for the collaborative economy is accumulating, little is known about the bottom-up psychological factors driving the collaborative economy users’ behaviour. Online platforms rely and promote trust between users and service providers. For responsible sharing, however, trust is necessary but not sufficient. Only when trust is encouraged transparently can users share responsibly. TRUSTPATH will assess, if: (1) users are aware of, or motivated to learn about, the side effects of trade; (2) platforms’ promotion of trust increases users’ information neglect; and (3) transparent environments reduce information neglect and increase responsible sharing. Building on my expertise on trust and cooperation, and using insights from psychology, management, and economics, I will develop and test a novel psychological theory of how people use the collaborative economy: Transparency Based Trust theory (TBT). TBT’s novel hypothesis suggests trust encouraged without transparency leads users to neglect the negative side effects trade has on others. TRUSTPATH innovates by developing a novel methodology (the collaborative economy game) and using cutting-edge technologies (large-scale experiments). Support for TBT implies a major step forward in the systematic understanding of the collaborative economy in the social sciences, and the psychological mechanisms underlying users’ behaviour on platforms like Airbnb, Uber, and others. TRUSTPATH will contribute to establish a new field of study: the psychology of the collaborative economy; inform policymakers seeking to regulate the collaborative economy; and inform companies seeking to promote responsible sharing among users.