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Dishonest Behavior: Sin Big or Go Home

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  • Jason A. Aimone
  • Brittany Ward
  • James E. West

Abstract

Economic agents face many different types of economic incentives when making financial and moral decisions. We provide experimental data from a population that uniquely responds to incentives to lie compared to previously studied populations. We conduct a standard 6-sided die rolling lying study within a population that believes that God has knowledge of all their actions. Within this population, we find that those who attend church frequently appear to refrain from lying while those that do not frequently attend church do lie, but do not disguise their lies like more secular populations. We further explain how our data fits into the theoretical work on lying.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason A. Aimone & Brittany Ward & James E. West, 2019. "Dishonest Behavior: Sin Big or Go Home," NBER Working Papers 25746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25746
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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