Lying Behavior When the Payoffs are Shared with Charity: Experimental Evidence
17 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019 Last revised: 4 Jun 2020
Date Written: October 4, 2019
We investigate lying behavior when lying is undetectable and payoffs are split with charity. 524 Participants are randomly assigned to share all, some, or none of the payoff with a charity of their choice. The payoff earned depends on the number participants report after rolling a die in private (i.e., there are clear incentives to lie). This allows us to examine lying behavior as the share of the payoffs to charity gradually increases. Our results are as follows: (i) participants in all groups lie to inflate their number; (ii) lying decreases drastically when the charity is the sole recipient; and (iii) post-experiment surveys reveal that those participants who are most likely to have lied are the least likely to admit it. Finally, our data suggests that lying is not correlated with any observable sociodemographic characteristic.
Keywords: Dishonesty, Charity, Morality, Split, Experiment
JEL Classification: D03
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation