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Is Dishonesty Contagious? An Experiment

41 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2009 Last revised: 9 Sep 2009

Robert Innes

University of Arizona - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Arnab Mitra

University of Arizona, Department of Economics

Date Written: June 26, 2009

Abstract

When an individual believes that peers are predominantly untruthful in a given situation, is he/she more likely to be untruthful in that situation? We study this question in a deception experiment patterned after Gneezy (2005), finding evidence that dishonesty is indeed contagious. We argue that existing theories of other-regarding preferences are unlikely to explain this result.

Keywords: Deception, Contagion, Experiment

JEL Classification: C91, A13

Suggested Citation

Innes, Robert and Mitra, Arnab, Is Dishonesty Contagious? An Experiment (June 26, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1426002 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1426002

Robert D. Innes

University of Arizona - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

1110 E. North Campus Drive
Tucson, AZ 85721-0023
United States
520-621-9741 (Phone)
520-621-6250 (Fax)

Arnab Mitra (Contact Author)

University of Arizona, Department of Economics ( email )

Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

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