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Honest on Mondays: Honesty and the Temporal Distance between Decisions and Payoffs

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  • Ruffle, Bradley

    ()
    (Ben Gurion University)

  • Tobol, Yossi

    ()
    (Jerusalem College of Technology (JTC))

Abstract

We show that temporally distancing the decision task from the payment of the reward increases honest behavior. Each of 427 Israeli soldiers fulfilling their mandatory military service rolled a six-sided die in private and reported the outcome to the unit's cadet coordinator. For every point reported, the soldier received an additional half-hour early release from the army base on Thursday afternoon. Soldiers who participated on Sunday (the first work day of the week) are significantly more honest than those who participated later in the week. We derive practical implications for eliciting honesty.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7312.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Economic Review, 2014, 65, 126-135
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7312

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Keywords: temporal distance; honesty; experimental economics; soldiers;

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References

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  1. Saul Pleeter & John T. Warner, 2001. "The Personal Discount Rate: Evidence from Military Downsizing Programs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 33-53, March.
  2. Gerald J. Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "Honesty on the Streets: A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing," NRN working papers 2009-24, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Eyal Lahav & Uri Benzion & Tal Shavit, 2011. "The effect of military service on soldiers' time preferences - Evidence from Israel," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(2), pages 130-138, February.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "White-Collar Crime Writ Small: A Case Study of Bagels, Donuts, and the Honor System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 290-294, May.
  5. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  6. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  7. Mosi Rosenboim & Tal Shavit, 2012. "Whose money is it anyway? Using prepaid incentives in experimental economics to create a natural environment," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 145-157, March.
  8. Nina Mazar & Dan Ariely, 2006. "Dishonesty in everyday life and its policy implications," Working Papers 06-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Mulligan, Casey B, 1997. "The Endogenous Determination of Time Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 729-58, August.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Immediate rewards prompt dishonest behavior
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-05-13 14:46:00

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