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Fairness and Cheating

  • Daniel Houser

    ()

    (Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science and Department of Economics, George Mason University)

  • Stefan Vetter

    ()

    (University of Munich)

  • Joachim Winter

    ()

    (University of Munich)

We present evidence from a laboratory experiment showing that individuals who believe they were treated unfairly in an interaction with another person are more likely to cheat in a subsequent unrelated game. Specifically, subjects first participated in a dictator game. They then flipped a coin in private and reported the outcome. Subjects could increase their total payoff by cheating, i.e., lying about the outcome of the coin toss. We found that subjects were more likely to cheat in reporting the outcome of the coin flip when: 1) they received either nothing or a very small transfer from the dictator; and 2) they claimed to have been treated unfairly.

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File URL: http://www.gmu.edu/schools/chss/economics/icesworkingpapers.gmu.edu/pdf/1019.pdf
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Paper provided by George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science in its series Working Papers with number 1019.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gms:wpaper:1019
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  1. Freeman, Richard B. & Gelber, Alexander M., 2008. "Prize Structure and Information in Tournaments: Experimental Evidence," MPRA Paper 12156, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Heusi, 2008. "Lies in Disguise. An experimental study on cheating," TWI Research Paper Series 40, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit�t Konstanz.
  3. Oechssler, Jörg, 2010. "Searching beyond the lamppost: Let's focus on economically relevant questions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 65-67, January.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Kirchsteiger, George & Riedl, Arno, 1993. "Does Fairness Prevent Market Clearing? An Experimental Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(2), pages 437-59, May.
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  6. Charness, Gary B & Dufwenberg, Martin, 2006. "Promises & Partnership," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0127h86v, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  7. Sjaak Hurkens & Navin Kartik, 2009. "Would I lie to you? On social preferences and lying aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 180-192, June.
  8. Hoffman Elizabeth & McCabe Kevin & Shachat Keith & Smith Vernon, 1994. "Preferences, Property Rights, and Anonymity in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 346-380, November.
  9. Bucciol, Alessandro & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Luck or cheating? A field experiment on honesty with children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-78, February.
  10. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  11. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2003. "Behavioral Game Theory. Experiments in Strategic Interaction: Colin F. Camerer, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2003, p. 550, Price $65.00/[UK pound]42.95, ISBN 0-691-09039-4," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 717-720, December.
  12. John A. List, 2007. "On the Interpretation of Giving in Dictator Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 482-493.
  13. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Li Hao & Daniel Houser, 2011. "Honest Lies," Working Papers 1021, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  15. Dreber, Anna & Johannesson, Magnus, 2008. "Gender differences in deception," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 197-199, April.
  16. Maurice Schweitzer & Donald Gibson, 2008. "Fairness, Feelings, and Ethical Decision- Making: Consequences of Violating Community Standards of Fairness," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 287-301, February.
  17. Matthias Sutter, 2009. "Deception Through Telling the Truth?! Experimental Evidence From Individuals and Teams," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 47-60, 01.
  18. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  19. Gerald J. Pruckner & Rupert Sausgruber, 2009. "Honesty on the Streets: A Natural Field Experiment on Newspaper Purchasing," NRN working papers 2009-24, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  20. Henrik Jacobsen Kleven & Martin B. Knudsen & Claus Thustrup Kreiner & Søren Pedersen & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Unwilling or Unable to Cheat? Evidence From a Tax Audit Experiment in Denmark," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 651-692, 05.
  21. Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Michael Spezio & Colin F. Camerer, 2010. "Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth Telling and Deception in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 984-1007, June.
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