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Lying and Shirking Under Oath

Author

Listed:
  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    (Paris School Of Economics)

  • Alexander James

    (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • Stéphane Luchini

    (Aix-Marseille University)

  • James J. Murphy

    (Department of Economics, University of Alaska Anchorage)

  • Jason F. Shogren

    (University Of Wyoming)

Abstract

This study explores whether an oath to honesty can reduce both shirking and lying among crowd-sourced internet workers. Using a classic coin-flip experiment, we first show that a substantial majority of Mechanical Turk workers both shirk and lie when reporting the number of heads flipped. We then demonstrate lying can be reduced by first asking each worker to swear voluntarily on his or her honor to tell the truth in subsequent economic decisions. The oath, however, did not reduce shirking as measured by time-at-coin-flip-task, although it did increase the time they spent answering a demographic survey. Conditional on response, MTurk shirkers and liars were less likely to agree to an ex post honesty oath. Our results suggest oaths may help elicit more truthful behavior in on-line crowd-sourced environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & James J. Murphy & Jason F. Shogren, 2019. "Lying and Shirking Under Oath," Working Papers 2019-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ala:wpaper:2019-02
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    File URL: http://www.econpapers.uaa.alaska.edu/RePEC/ala/wpaper/ALA201902.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental economics; Honesty; Intrinsic Costs; Field Experiment; Solemn Oath; Mechanical Turk; MTurk; lying; shirking; labor economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General

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