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Honesty and beliefs about honesty in 15 countries

David Hugh-Jones

No 2015-01, University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series from School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Abstract: The honesty of resident nationals of 15 countries was measured in two experiments: reporting a coin flip with a reward for "heads", and an online quiz with the possibility of cheating. There are large differences in honesty across countries. Average honesty correlates with per capita GDP: this relationship is driven mostly by GDP differences arising before 1950, rather than by GDP growth since 1950, suggesting that the growth-honesty relationship was more important in earlier periods than today. The experiment also elicited participants' beliefs about honesty in different countries. Beliefs were not correlated with reality. Instead they appear to be driven by cognitive biases, including self-projection.

Date: 2015-09-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-gro, nep-neu and nep-soc
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