Do Economists Lie More?
Recent experimental evidence suggests that some people dislike telling lies, and tell the truth even at a cost. We use experiments as well to study the socio-demographic covariates of such lie aversion, and find gender and religiosity to be without predictive value. However, subjects’ major is predictive: Business and Economics (B&E) subjects lie significantly more frequently than other majors. This is true even after controlling for subjects’ beliefs about the overall rate of deception, which predict behavior very well: Although B&E subjects expect most others to lie in our decision problem, the effect of major remains. An instrumental variables analysis suggests that the effect is not simply one of selection: It seems that studying B&E has a causal impact on behavior.
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- Holm, Håkan J. & Kawagoe, Toshiji, 2008.
"Face-to-Face Lying – an experimental study in Sweden and Japan,"
2008:5, Lund University, Department of Economics.
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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 81-92, May.
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- Raúl López-Pérez & Eli Spiegelman, 2013. "Why do people tell the truth? Experimental evidence for pure lie aversion," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 233-247, September.
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