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Image And Misreporting

Listed author(s):
  • Mara Ewers
  • Florian Zimmermann

In this paper we analyze how image utility can lead to misreporting of private information in contexts where truthful reports maximize monetary outcomes. In a controlled experiment, subjects go through a series of quiz questions and subsequently report a performance measure. We vary whether reports are made to an audience or not. In an additional feedback treatment, reports are also stated to an audience and afterwards the experimenter publicly verifies whether reports were correct. We find that in the audience treatment, stated reports are significantly higher relative to the private treatment as well as the feedback treatment. Our findings suggest that overconfident appearance might be a consequence of social approval seeking.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.12128
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 13 (2015)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 363-380

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:13:y:2015:i:2:p:363-380
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