Working Paper BETA #2017-21

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Title : The drunk side of trust: Social capital generation at gathering events

Author(s) : Giuseppe Attanasi, Stefania Bortolotti, Simona Cicognani, Antonio Filippin

Abstract : We present a case study to assess the relation between alcohol intake and trust generation at a cultural gathering event. Over a span of six editions (2012–2017), we interviewed and elicited blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of nearly 2,000 attendees of the final concert of “La Notte della Taranta Festival”, the biggest concert in Europe dedicated to traditional music (about 200,000 participants per year). Once controlling for the BAC of respondents, and for the belief about own and others’ BAC, we find that alcohol, consumption during the event is positively correlated with trust generation towards other attendees. Furthermore, looking at the amount of trust devoted to drinkers (the drunk side of trust), we find a positive correlation with both own measured BAC and own believed BAC. Considered together, we argue that these two results are indicative of endogenous group formation in terms of alcohol consumption: drinking during event attendance positively correlates with increased trust to other drinkers in the event audience.

Key-words : Cultural event; Instantaneous social capital; Generalized trust; Blood alcohol concentration; Tourist.

JEL Classification : A13; D91; Z10.