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Gender differences in honesty: The role of social value orientation

Kerstin Grosch and Holger A. Rau

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2017, vol. 62, issue C, 258-267

Abstract: This paper experimentally analyzes the role of individual social value orientation (SVO) on honest behavior. We focus on a situation where dishonest behavior pays off at somebody else’s cost. In which case, distributional preferences might matter for the willingness to act honestly. To examine this link we conduct a laboratory experiment where we first elicit SVO to measure distributional preferences. Afterwards, we implement a die rolling game to elicit dishonest behavior at an individual level. We detect a positive correlation between subjects’ SVO angle and honest behavior. Furthermore, the data confirm common gender differences, i.e., women are significantly more honest than men. Additionally, we find that, on average, women have higher SVO angles than men. A mediation analysis reveals that SVO explains the gender effect.

Keywords: Experiment; Gender differences; Honesty; Social value orientation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D61 D62 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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