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To claim or not to claim: Anonymity, reciprocal externalities and honesty

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Schitter

    () (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz)

  • Jürgen Fleiß

    () (Department of Corporate Leadership and Entrepreneurship, University of Graz)

  • Stefan Palan

    () (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz)

Abstract

This paper investigates the determinants of (dis)honesty of reporters filing unverified claims for money. First, does honest reporting increase when each reporter's unverified claim is made public? We present experimental evidence to this effect. The driver behind this is activation of the preference for appearing honest. Second, does honest reporting increase when it is public knowledge that reporters' claims affect others and reporters are reciprocally affected by others' claims? We find no such effect. Fear of losing out against others who untruthfully claim too much may outweigh honesty and pro-social considerations.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schitter & Jürgen Fleiß & Stefan Palan, 2017. "To claim or not to claim: Anonymity, reciprocal externalities and honesty," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2017-01, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
  • Handle: RePEc:grz:wpsses:2017-01
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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