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Designing Self-Reporting Regimes to Encourage Truth Telling: An Experimental Study

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Abstract

We report results from an experiment that investigates truthfulness in self-reporting under different reporting regimes. The experiment involves a production task with self-reporting of accidents, with reporting compulsory for some participants, but only voluntary for others. We find that dishonesty is prevalent, but accident reporting is more frequent with compulsory reporting compared with voluntary. This suggests that lie aversion is a stronger force than the intrinsic motivation to voluntarily report, and that careful design of self-reporting regimes is necessary by enforcement agencies to achieve satisfactory compliance outcomes. Our results are relevant for several areas beyond regulatory compliance, including dishonesty in social security claims, insurance claims, workplace expense claims, income tax returns, and financial reporting.

Suggested Citation

  • Lana Friesen & Lata Gangadharan, 2011. "Designing Self-Reporting Regimes to Encourage Truth Telling: An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers Series 426, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:426
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    Cited by:

    1. Grolleau, Gilles & Kocher, Martin G. & Sutan, Angela, 2014. "Cheating and loss aversion: do people lie more to avoid a loss?," Discussion Papers in Economics 21387, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Martin G. Kocher & Simeon Schudy & Lisa Spantig, 2016. "I Lie? We Lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups," CESifo Working Paper Series 6008, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Jade Wong & Andreas Ortman & Alberto Motta & Le Zhang, 2013. "Understanding Social Impact Bonds and Their Alternatives: An Experimental Investigation," Discussion Papers 2013-21, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    4. Rosenbaum, Stephen Mark & Billinger, Stephan & Stieglitz, Nils, 2014. "Let’s be honest: A review of experimental evidence of honesty and truth-telling," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 181-196.
    5. repec:kap:regeco:v:52:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11149-017-9329-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2012. "Individual level evidence of dishonesty and the gender effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 624-626.
    7. Faravelli, Marco & Friesen, Lana & Gangadharan, Lata, 2015. "Selection, tournaments, and dishonesty," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 160-175.
    8. Burfurd, Ingrid & Gangadharan, Lata & Nemes, Veronika, 2012. "Stars and standards: Energy efficiency in rental markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 153-168.

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    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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