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Should I wait or should I lie? Path dependency and timing in repeated honesty decisions under frames

Author

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  • Christian Schitter

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz)

  • Stefan Palan

    (Department of Banking and Finance, University of Graz)

Abstract

We experimentally investigate time and path dependency in sequences of decisions about whether to be honest under a gain, a lottery and a loss framing. We find only small timing patterns over rounds, but clear evidence for more dishonesty after streaks of unfavorable outcomes. The latter implies a systematic path dependency in repeated honesty decisions. We observe an increase in dishonesty from gain to lottery and from lottery to loss framing. Increased dishonesty generally appears earlier and faster under a loss compared to a gain or a lottery frame. Surprisingly, the most honest participants are also those most clearly exhibiting path dependency in reports, in line with a behavior akin to "moral accounting".

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Schitter & Stefan Palan, 2018. "Should I wait or should I lie? Path dependency and timing in repeated honesty decisions under frames," Working Paper Series, Social and Economic Sciences 2018-05, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Karl-Franzens-University Graz.
  • Handle: RePEc:grz:wpsses:2018-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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