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Lying, spying, sabotaging : procedures and consequences

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  • Chlaß, Nadine
  • Riener, Gerhard

Abstract

Do individuals prefer to compete fairly, or unfairly with an opponent? We study individuals who can choose how to compete for one ex-post nonzero payoff. They can either nudge themselves into a fair set of rules where they have the same information and actions as their opponent, or into unfair rules where they spy, sabotage or fabricate their opponent's action. In an experiment, we observe significant altruism under rules which allow for fabrication and sabotage, but not under rules which allow for spying. We provide direct evidence that this altruism emanates from an ethical concern purely about the rules of the game. How individuals deal with this concern - whether they nudge themselves into fabrication-free, spying-free, or sabotage-free rules, or whether they assume the power to fabricate or sabotage to compensate their opponent by giving all payoff away - varies along with individuals' attitudes towards power.

Suggested Citation

  • Chlaß, Nadine & Riener, Gerhard, 2015. "Lying, spying, sabotaging : procedures and consequences," Working Papers 15-17, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mnh:wpaper:40098
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    File URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/40892/1/Cla%C3%9F%20und%20Riener%2015-18.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nadine Chlass & Peter G. Moffatt, 2017. "Giving in dictator games: Experimenter demand effect or preference over the rules of the game?," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-05, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    2. Bonnet, Céline & Schain, Jan Philip, 2017. "An empirical analysis of mergers: Efficiency gains and impact on consumer prices," DICE Discussion Papers 244, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    psychological games ; moral judgement ; institutional design ; lying aversion ; sabotage aversion ; spying aversion ; unfair competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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