Lying Behavior When the Payoffs are Shared with Charity: Experimental Evidence

15 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019 Last revised: 2 May 2022

See all articles by Scott Lee Chua

Scott Lee Chua

Yale-NUS College; National University of Singapore

Jessica Chang

Yale-NUS College

Guillem Riambau

Universitat de Barcelona; University of Barcelona - Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB)

Date Written: 2022

Abstract

We investigate lying behavior when lying is undetectable and payoffs are split with charity. 524 participants roll a die in private, report the outcome, and receive the monetary equivalent of their reported number, i.e., there is a clear incentive to lie. Participants are randomly assigned to share all, some, or none of this payoff with a charity of their choice. This allows us to examine how lying behavior changes with the share of payoffs going to charity. Our results are as follows: (i) there are participants in every group who lie to inflate their reported number; (ii) participants with no share of the payoff lie much less than participants with some share, no matter how small; and (iii) post-experiment surveys reveal that participants who keep the whole payoff are much less likely to admit to having cheated than all other participants. Finally, our data suggests that lying is not correlated with any observable sociodemographic characteristic.

Keywords: Dishonesty, Charity, Experiment

JEL Classification: C91, D63, D64

Suggested Citation

Chua, Scott Lee and Chang, Jessica and Riambau, Guillem, Lying Behavior When the Payoffs are Shared with Charity: Experimental Evidence (2022). Published in Journal of Economic Psychology 90(102512), DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2022.102512, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3475374

Scott Lee Chua

Yale-NUS College ( email )

16 College Avenue West
Singapore, 138527
Singapore

National University of Singapore ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

Jessica Chang

Yale-NUS College ( email )

Singapore

Guillem Riambau (Contact Author)

Universitat de Barcelona ( email )

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585
Barcelona, 08007
Spain

University of Barcelona - Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) ( email )

c/ John M. Keynes, 1-11
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

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