The Propensity to Trust Others: Gender and Country Differences

Ayush B. Shrestha, Richard A. Bernardi, Susan M. Bosco


Our research examines the level of individual trust in others,which is an important issue because it essentially determines the level ofadditional work that must be done by auditors to make their audit decision. This study includes the responses of315 accounting students from Afghanistan, Australia,Nepal, and the United States. It then examines whether levels oftrust vary by country. Our dataindicate that students fromboth Australia and Nepal had significantly different levels oftrust than the students from the United States (our control group).While the students from Nepalhad a significantly lower level of trust than the students from the United States, the students from Australia had a significantly higher level oftrust than the students from the United States. Additionally, male(female) students indicated a lower (higher) level of trust. Our findingof differences among countries in the level of individual trust has implicationsin the field of international auditing. While the countries of the world areworking at harmonizing their accounting and auditing standards, differences inthe amount of work actually done on an audit could be determined by the levelof trust in a client. These countries provide a contrast among the scores forTransparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and Hofstede’scultural constructs of individualism and uncertainty avoidance; the sampleincludes Afghanistan and Nepal that are not presently included inauditing-related research.

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Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

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