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Fairness and Cheating

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Author Info

  • Daniel Houser

    ()
    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Stefan Vetter

    ()
    (University of Munich)

  • Joachim Winter

    ()
    (University of Munich)

Abstract

We present evidence from a laboratory experiment showing that individuals who believe they were treated unfairly in an interaction with another person are more likely to cheat in a subsequent unrelated game. Specifically, subjects first participated in a dictator game. They then flipped a coin in private and reported the outcome. Subjects could increase their total payoff by cheating, i.e., lying about the outcome of the coin toss. We found that subjects were more likely to cheat in reporting the outcome of the coin flip when: 1) they received either nothing or a very small transfer from the dictator; and 2) they claimed to have been treated unfairly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1019.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1019

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Keywords: cheating; fairness; experimental design;

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References

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  1. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
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  12. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
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  16. Bucciol, Alessandro & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Luck or cheating? A field experiment on honesty with children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-78, February.
  17. Li Hao & Daniel Houser, 2011. "Honest Lies," Working Papers 1021, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
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  21. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
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