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Deception and Misreporting in a Social Program

  • Cesar Martinelli

    ()

    (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

  • Susan W. Parker

    ()

    (División de Economia, Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas (CIDE))

We investigate empirically the extent of misreporting in a poverty-alleviation program in which self-reported information, followed by a household visit, is used to determine eligibility. Underreporting may be due to a deception motive, and overreporting to an embarrassment motive. We find that underreporting of goods and desirable home characteristics is widespread, and that overreporting is common with respect to goods linked to social status. Larger program benefits encourage underreporting and discourage overreporting. The effect of benefits on underreporting is significant under a variety of specifications. We also investigate the effects of education and gender on misreporting.

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File URL: http://ftp.itam.mx/pub/academico/inves/martinelli/06-02.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM in its series Working Papers with number 0602.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:0602
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  1. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Agar Brugiavini, 1999. "Risk pooling, precautionary saving and consumption growth," IFS Working Papers W99/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  3. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  4. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
  5. Riphahn, Regina T., 2000. "Rational Poverty or Poor Rationality? The Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Janet Currie, 2004. "The Take Up of Social Benefits," NBER Working Papers 10488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kartik, Navin & Ottaviani, Marco & Squintani, Francesco, 2007. "Credulity, lies, and costly talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 93-116, May.
  8. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
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