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Fraud Deterrence Institutions Reduce Intrinsic Honesty

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio Galeotti

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Valeria Maggian

    (University of Ca’ Foscari [Venice, Italy])

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

Deterrence institutions are widely used in modern societies to discourage rule violations but whether they have an impact beyond their immediate scope of application is usually ignored. Using a natural field experiment, we show that they affect intrinsic honesty across contexts. We identified fraudsters and non-fraudsters in public transport who were or not exposed to ticket inspections by the transport company. We then measured the intrinsic honesty of the same persons in a new unrelated context where they could misappropriate money. Instead of having an educative effect across contexts, the exposure to deterrence practices increases unethical behavior of fraudsters but also of non-fraudsters.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Galeotti & Valeria Maggian & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Fraud Deterrence Institutions Reduce Intrinsic Honesty," Working Papers halshs-02281894, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-02281894
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02281894
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Zhixin Dai & Fabio Galeotti & Marie Claire Villeval, 2016. "Cheating in the Lab Predicts Fraud in the Field An Experiment in Public Transportations," Working Papers halshs-01265696, HAL.
    2. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    3. David Dickinson & E. Glenn Dutcher & Cortney Rodet, 2015. "Observed punishment spillover effects: a laboratory investigation of behavior in a social dilemma," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 18(1), pages 136-153, March.
    4. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
    5. Engl, Florian & Riedl, Arno & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Spillover Effects of Institutions on Cooperative Behavior, Preferences, and Beliefs," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    6. John A. List, 2011. "Why Economists Should Conduct Field Experiments and 14 Tips for Pulling One Off," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 3-16, Summer.
    7. repec:feb:artefa:0110 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deterrence Institutions; Intrinsic Honesty; Spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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