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Malleability of Preferences for Honesty

Johannes Abeler, Armin Falk and Fabian Kosse

No 9033, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Reporting private information is a key part of economic decision making. A recent literature has found that many people have a preference for honest reporting, contrary to usual economic assumptions. In this paper, we investigate whether preferences for honesty are malleable and what determines them. We experimentally measure preferences for honesty in a sample of children. As our main result, we provide causal evidence on the effect of the social environment by randomly enrolling children in a year-long mentoring programme. We find that, about four years after the end of the programme, mentored children are significantly more honest.

Keywords: honesty; lying; truth-telling; formation of preferences; experiments with children (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D64 D82 D90 H26 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
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Working Paper: Malleability of Preferences for Honesty (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Malleability of Preferences for Honesty (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Malleability of Preferences for Honesty (2021) Downloads
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