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Individual cheating in the lab: a new measure and external validity

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  • Andrea Albertazzi

    (Università di Siena)

Abstract

This paper investigates to what extent laboratory measures of cheating generalise to the field. To this purpose, we develop a lab measure that allows for individual-level observations of cheating whilst reducing the likelihood that participants feel observed. Decisions made in this laboratory task are then compared to individual choices taken in the field, where subjects can lie by misreporting their experimental earnings. We use two field variations that differ in the degree of anonymity of the field decision. According to our measure, no correlation of behaviour between the laboratory and the field is found. We then perform the same analysis using a lab measure that can only detect cheating at the aggregate level. In this case, we do find a weak correlation between the two environments. We discuss the significance and interpretation of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Albertazzi, 2022. "Individual cheating in the lab: a new measure and external validity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 93(1), pages 37-67, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:93:y:2022:i:1:d:10.1007_s11238-021-09841-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11238-021-09841-0
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