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Cheating and incentives in a performance context: Evidence from a field experiment on children

Sule Alan (), Seda Ertac and Mert Gumren

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 179, issue C, 681-701

Abstract: We study cheating behavior in a large sample of elementary school children in the context of a creative performance task, in the presence and absence of performance incentives. Our data come from a sample of 720 elementary school children with an average age of 8, and contain rich information on a large set of correlates, such as risk and time preferences, IQ, gender and family characteristics. We document that children with higher IQ and higher socioeconomic status have a higher likelihood of cheating. We find that the presence of incentives for better performance does not increase cheating behavior. We also document an interesting interaction between altruism and incentives: altruistic students cheat significantly less in the presence of incentives.

Keywords: Cheating; Incentives; Children; Field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C92 D23 D82 D83 M12 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2019.03.015

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:179:y:2020:i:c:p:681-701