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Do cheaters in the lab also cheat in the field?

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  • Potters, Jan
  • Stoop, Jan

Abstract

In this paper, we study the correlation between cheating in the lab and cheating in the field. We conduct a laboratory experiment using a variant of the Mind game (Jiang, 2013). Payoffs above a certain threshold are indicative of cheating behavior. Subjects are paid their earnings by bank transfer. A fraction of the subjects is deliberately paid more than their earnings. We send subjects a reminder e-mail stating their earnings and asking them if they have received their payment. We find a significant correlation of 0.31 between cheating in the lab and in the field. Subjects with higher payoffs in the Mind game are also less likely to report the overpayment. Our results speak to the lab-field generalizability of cheating behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Potters, Jan & Stoop, Jan, 2016. "Do cheaters in the lab also cheat in the field?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 26-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:87:y:2016:i:c:p:26-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.03.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Naci H. Mocan & Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe, 2018. "Quality of Judicial Institutions, Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Dishonesty," NBER Working Papers 24396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Vranka, Marek & Bahník, Štěpán, 2017. "Predictors of Bribe-Taking: The Role of Bribe Size and Personality," OSF Preprints mzhkq, Center for Open Science.
    3. Benistant, Julien & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Unethical behavior and group identity in contests," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 128-155.
    4. Johannes Abeler & Daniele Nosenzo & Collin Raymond, 2019. "Preferences for Truth‐Telling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1115-1153, July.
    5. Rahwan, Zoe & Hauser, Oliver P. & Kochanowska, Ewa & Fasolo, Barbara, 2018. "High stakes: A little more cheating, a lot less charity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 276-295.
    6. Garbarino, Ellen & Slonim, Robert & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2016. "Loss Aversion and Lying Behavior: Theory, Estimation and Empirical Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 10395, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Tim Friehe & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, 2018. "Predicting norm enforcement: the individual and joint predictive power of economic preferences, personality, and self-control," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 127-146, February.
    8. Astrid Dannenberg & Elina Khachatryan, 2020. "A Comparison of Individual and Group Behavior in a Competition with Cheating Opportunities," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202003, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    9. Vranka, Marek & Frollová, Nikola & Pour, Marek & Novakova, Julie & Houdek, Petr, 2019. "Cheating customers in grocery stores: A field study on dishonesty," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    10. Grosch, Kerstin & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "Gender differences in honesty: The role of social value orientation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 258-267.
    11. Aksoy, Billur & Palma, Marco A., 2019. "The effects of scarcity on cheating and in-group favoritism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 100-117.
    12. Alem, Yonas & Eggert, Håkan & Kocher, Martin G. & Ruhinduka, Remidius D., 2018. "Why (field) experiments on unethical behavior are important: Comparing stated and revealed behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 71-85.
    13. Kajackaite, Agne & Gneezy, Uri, 2017. "Incentives and cheating," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 433-444.
    14. Dwenger, Nadja & Lohse, Tim, 2019. "Do individuals successfully cover up their lies? Evidence from a compliance experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 74-87.
    15. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Jürges, Hendrik & Wiesen, Daniel, 2018. "Dishonesty in healthcare practice: A behavioral experiment on upcoding in neonatology," HERO Online Working Paper Series 2018:3, University of Oslo, Health Economics Research Programme.
    16. Billur Aksoy & Marco A. Palma, "undated". "The Effects of Scarcity on Cheating and In-Group Favoritism," Working Papers 20180918-001, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
    17. Olaf Hübler & Melanie Koch & Lukas Menkhoff & Ulrich Schmidt, 2019. "Cheating and Corruption: Evidence from a Household Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1826, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Quaas, Martin F., 2019. "Truth-telling and the regulator. Experimental evidence from commercial fishermen," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 120(C).
    19. Olaf Hübler & Lukas Menkhoff & Ulrich Schmidt, 2018. "Who Is Cheating? The Role of Attendants, Risk Aversion, and Affluence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1736, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    20. Garbarino, Ellen & Slonim, Robert & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Loss aversion and lying behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 379-393.
    21. Drupp, Moritz A. & Khadjavi, Menusch & Quaas, Martin F., 2016. "Truth-telling and the regulator: Evidence from a field experiment with commercial fishermen," Kiel Working Papers 2063, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    22. Aufenanger, Tobias, 2018. "Treatment allocation for linear models," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 14/2017, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory experiment; Natural field experiment; Cheating;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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