Honest on Mondays: Honesty and the Temporal Distance between Decisions and Payoffs

21 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2013

See all articles by Bradley J. Ruffle

Bradley J. Ruffle

McMaster University

Yossef Tobol

The Jerusalem College of Technology; The Carmel Academic Center


We show that temporally distancing the decision task from the payment of the reward increases honest behavior. Each of 427 Israeli soldiers fulfilling their mandatory military service rolled a six-sided die in private and reported the outcome to the unit's cadet coordinator. For every point reported, the soldier received an additional half-hour early release from the army base on Thursday afternoon. Soldiers who participated on Sunday (the first work day of the week) are significantly more honest than those who participated later in the week. We derive practical implications for eliciting honesty.

Keywords: experimental economics, honesty, temporal distance, soldiers

JEL Classification: C93, D63

Suggested Citation

Ruffle, Bradley J. and Tobol, Yossef, Honest on Mondays: Honesty and the Temporal Distance between Decisions and Payoffs. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7312, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2250290 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2250290

Bradley J. Ruffle (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4

HOME PAGE: http://https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/people/ruffle-bradley

Yossef Tobol

The Jerusalem College of Technology ( email )


HOME PAGE: http://www.jct.ac.il/he/tobol

The Carmel Academic Center ( email )


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