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Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating

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  • Urs Fischbacher
  • Franziska Föllmi-Heusi

Abstract

In this paper we present a new design which allows us to draw inferences on the distribution of lying behavior among the population. Participants received a dice in order to determine their payoff anonymously. Whatever they reported to have rolled, they received as payoff. 39% of the subjects were honest and maximally 22% of them were lying completely. Interestingly we found subjects who lied but who did not maximize their income by doing so. Using additional experiments, we can show that a compelling explanation for this behavior is the desire to maintain a favorable self-concept, including honesty and non-greediness.
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Suggested Citation

  • Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:525-547
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