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Individual and Group Cheating Behavior: A Field Experiment with Adolescents



Dishonest activities with negative consequences for others and society are often undertaken by individuals as well as groups of people. In this paper, we use a field experiment among students aged 11-16 years to study whether there is a difference between individual and group cheating behavior. We find that students cheat, but not to the maximum extent possible. On average, groups are more inclined to cheat than individuals, but there are important differences across age. While there is no evidence of dishonesty among younger individuals, older individuals as well as younger and older groups cheat and do so to a similar extent. The way in which groups are formed does not seem to matter.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie Chytilova & Vaclav Korbel, 2014. "Individual and Group Cheating Behavior: A Field Experiment with Adolescents," Working Papers IES 2014/06, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Mar 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:wpaper:wp2014_06

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin G. Kocher & Simeon Schudy & Lisa Spantig, 2018. "I Lie? We Lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(9), pages 3995-4008, September.
    2. Tim Lohse & Sven A. Simon, 2018. "Compliance in Teams - Implications of Joint Decisions and Shared Consequences," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2018-03_4, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    3. Yoshitaka Okano & Eiji Goto, 2019. "Groups disguise lying better," Working Papers SDES-2019-7, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jun 2019.
    4. Johannes Abeler & Daniele Nosenzo & Collin Raymond, 2019. "Preferences for Truth‐Telling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1115-1153, July.
    5. Fochmann, Martin & Fochmann, Nadja & Kocher, Martin G. & Müller, Nadja, 2021. "Dishonesty and risk-taking: Compliance decisions of individuals and groups," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 250-286.
    6. Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas & Wallmeier, Niklas, 2015. "Gender differences in honesty: Groups versus individuals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 25-29.
    7. Ellen Garbarino & Robert Slonim & Marie Claire Villeval, 2016. "Loss Aversion and lying behavior: Theory, estimation and empirical evidence," Working Papers halshs-01404333, HAL.
    8. Castillo, Geoffrey & Choo, Lawrence & Grimm, Veronika, 2020. "Are groups really more dishonest than individuals?," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 01/2020, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
    9. Garbarino, Ellen & Slonim, Robert & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2019. "Loss aversion and lying behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 379-393.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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