NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Dishonest Behavior: Sin Big or Go Home

Jason A. Aimone, Brittany Ward, James E. West

NBER Working Paper No. 25746
Issued in April 2019
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Public Economics, Economics of Education

Economic agents face many different types of economic incentives when making financial and moral decisions. We provide experimental data from a population that uniquely responds to incentives to lie compared to previously studied populations. We conduct a standard 6-sided die rolling lying study within a population that believes that God has knowledge of all their actions. Within this population, we find that those who attend church frequently appear to refrain from lying while those that do not frequently attend church do lie, but do not disguise their lies like more secular populations. We further explain how our data fits into the theoretical work on lying.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25746

 
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