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

27 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2019

See all articles by Scott Chua

Scott Chua

Yale-NUS

Jessica Chang

Yale-NUS

Guillem Riambau

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Yale-NUS College

Date Written: October 4, 2019

Abstract

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

Chua, Scott and Chang, Jessica and Riambau, Guillem, Lying Behavior When the Payoffs are Shared with Charity: Experimental Evidence (October 4, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475374

Scott Chua

Yale-NUS ( email )

Singapore

Jessica Chang

Yale-NUS ( email )

Singapore

Guillem Riambau (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Yale-NUS College ( email )

Singapore

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