Fairness and Cheating
AbstractWe 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. This is consistent with the view that experiencing a norm violation is sufficient to justify the violation of another norm at the expense of a third party. This result extends the growing literature on social norms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich in its series Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems with number 335.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
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cheating; social norms; experimental design;
Other versions of this item:
- Houser, Daniel & Vetter, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2012. "Fairness and cheating," Munich Reprints in Economics 19375, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Houser, Daniel & Vetter, Stefan & Winter, Joachim, 2010. "Fairness and Cheating," Munich Reprints in Economics 19376, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Daniel Houser & Stefan Vetter & Joachim Winter, 2011. "Fairness and Cheating," Working Papers 1019, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2010-10-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2010-10-02 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2010-10-02 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2010-10-02 (Game Theory)
- NEP-HPE-2010-10-02 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2010-10-02 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-SOC-2010-10-02 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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