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Unethical behavior in the field: Demographic characteristics and beliefs of the cheater

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  • Bucciol, Alessandro
  • Landini, Fabio
  • Piovesan, Marco

Abstract

What are the individual demographic characteristics that correlate with unethical behavior? To answer this question we randomly interviewed 541 passengers who used the bus in Reggio Emilia (Italy). Exploiting the high level of fare evasion (43% without a valid ticket) we find that young individuals, males and non-European immigrants in our sample are more likely to travel without a ticket. Interestingly, traveling with other people correlates with the probability of holding a valid ticket but its effect depends on who the passenger and the others are. Finally, we find that all passengers’ beliefs on fine costs, ticket inspection frequency, and percentage of passengers without a ticket are surprisingly close to actual figures. However, cheaters perceive inspections as more frequent than those traveling with a valid ticket.

Suggested Citation

  • Bucciol, Alessandro & Landini, Fabio & Piovesan, Marco, 2013. "Unethical behavior in the field: Demographic characteristics and beliefs of the cheater," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 248-257.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:248-257
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.03.018
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Erat, Sanjiv, 2013. "Avoiding lying: The case of delegated deception," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 273-278.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cheating; Fare evasion; Individual characteristics; Unethical behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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