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Complicity without connection or communication

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  • Barr, Abigail
  • Michailidou, Georgia

Abstract

We use a novel laboratory experiment involving a die rolling task embedded within a coordination game to investigate whether complicity can emerge when decision-making is simultaneous, the potential accomplices are strangers and neither communication nor signaling is possible. Then, by comparing the behavior observed in this original game to that in a variant in which die-roll reporting players are paired with passive players instead of other die-roll reporters, while everything else is held constant, we isolate the effect of having a potential accomplice on the likelihood of an individual acting immorally. We find that complicity can emerge between strangers in the absence of opportunities to communicate or signal and that having a potential accomplice increases the likelihood of an individual acting immorally.

Suggested Citation

  • Barr, Abigail & Michailidou, Georgia, 2017. "Complicity without connection or communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:1-10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.07.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Complicity; Lying; Die under the cup task;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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