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What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Loukas Balafoutas
  • Adrian Beck
  • Rudolf Kerschbamer
  • Matthias Sutter

Abstract

Credence goods are characterized by informational asymmetries between sellers and consumers that invite fraudulent behavior by sellers. This paper presents the results of a natural field experiment on taxi rides in Athens, Greece, set up to measure different types of fraud and to examine the influence of passengers’ presumed information and income on the extent of fraud. Results reveal that taxi drivers cheat passengers in systematic ways: Passengers with inferior information about optimal routes are taken on longer detours while asymmetric information on the local tariff system leads to manipulated bills. Higher income seems to lead to more fraud.

Suggested Citation

  • Loukas Balafoutas & Adrian Beck & Rudolf Kerschbamer & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "What Drives Taxi Drivers? A Field Experiment on Fraud in a Market for Credence Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3461, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3461
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lorenz Goette & David Huffman & Stephan Meier, 2006. "The Impact of Group Membership on Cooperation and Norm Enforcement: Evidence Using Random Assignment to Real Social Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 212-216, May.
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    3. Vincent P. Crawford & Juanjuan Meng, 2011. "New York City Cab Drivers' Labor Supply Revisited: Reference-Dependent Preferences with Rational-Expectations Targets for Hours and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1912-1932, August.
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    5. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
    6. Dulleck, Uwe & Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "The Economics of Credence Goods: On the Role of Liability, Verifiability, Reputation and Competition," IZA Discussion Papers 4030, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Henry S. Schneider, 2012. "Agency Problems and Reputation in Expert Services: Evidence from Auto Repair," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 406-433, September.
    8. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    9. Gary Charness & Luca Rigotti & Aldo Rustichini, 2007. "Individual Behavior and Group Membership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(4), pages 1340-1352, September.
    10. Kerschbamer, Rudolf & Sutter, Matthias & Dulleck, Uwe, 2009. "The Impact of Distributional Preferences on (Experimental) Markets for Expert Services," IZA Discussion Papers 4647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    credence goods; expert services; natural field experiment; taxi rides; fraud; asymmetric information;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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