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Luck or Cheating? A Field Experiment on Honesty with Children

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Bucciol

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Marco Piovesan

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Abstract

We ran an experiment with children to study the development of honesty with age. We asked each child to toss a fair coin in private and to record the outcome (white or black) in a paper sheet. We rewarded only those who reported white. We found a fraction of reported whites signifi cantly larger than 50%, uniformly across age groups. This suggests that some children cheat when cheating is profi table and they are not observed. In a second treatment we told children not to cheat. This reminder reduced the probability of reporting white by 18% on average, and signifi cantly more in girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Bucciol & Marco Piovesan, 2008. "Luck or Cheating? A Field Experiment on Honesty with Children," Discussion Papers 08-28, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:0828
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ku.dk/english/research/publications/wp/2008/0828.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    honesty; children; fi eld experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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