Dishonesty: From Parents to Children
Daniel Houser (),
John List (),
Marco Piovesan (),
Anya Samek and
Joachim Winter ()
No 1054, Working Papers from George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science
Acts of dishonesty permeate life. Understanding their origins, and what mechanisms help to attenuate such acts is an underexplored area of research. This study takes an economics approach to explore the propensity of individuals to act dishonestly across different contexts. We conduct an experiment that includes both parents and their young children as subjects, exploring the roles of moral cost and scrutiny on dishonest behavior. We find that the highest level of dishonesty occurs in settings where the parent acts alone and the dishonest act benefits the child. In this spirit, there is also an interesting, quite different, effect of children on parentsâ€™ behavior: parents act more honestly under the scrutiny of daughters than under the scrutiny of sons. This finding sheds new light on the origins of the widely documented gender differences in cheating behavior observed among adults, where a typical result is that females are more honest than males. Length: 48
Keywords: cheating; dishonesty; ethical judgment; social utility; field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D63 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-dem, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
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Journal Article: Dishonesty: From parents to children (2016)
Working Paper: Dishonesty: From Parents to Children (2015)
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Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:gms:wpaper:1054
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