Cheating in the Lab Predicts Fraud in the Field - An Experiment in Public Transportations
61 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2016 Last revised: 19 May 2016
Date Written: May 18, 2016
We conduct an artefactual field experiment using a diversified sample of passengers of public transportations to study attitudes towards dishonesty. We find that the diversity of behavior in terms of dishonesty in laboratory tasks and in the field correlate. Moreover, individuals who have just been fined in the field behave more honestly in the lab than the other fare-dodgers, except when context is introduced. Overall, we show that simple tests of dishonesty in the lab can predict moral firmness in life, although fraudsters who care about social image cheat less when behavior can be verified ex post by the experimenter.
Keywords: Dishonesty, fare-dodging, field experiment, external validity, public transportations
JEL Classification: B41, C91, C93, K42
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