Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?

Clarke, George (2012): Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?

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Previous studies have shown that reticent managers, who are identified through a series of random-response questions, answer questions about corruption, firm performance and how honest they are differently from other managers. If reticent managers’ answers are different because they are lying, estimates of these behaviors will be inaccurate. But it is also possible that reticent managers answer questions differently because they and their firms are different. This paper presents evidence consistent with the idea that reticent managers lie. First, it shows that reticent managers in Nigeria report that their firms pay higher wages than other firms. This is consistent with previous studies that have found that they also report better performance. Second, it shows that workers at firms with reticent managers report lower, or similar, wages to workers at other firms. The different responses of the managers and the workers suggest that reticent managers are lying. That is, reticent managers in Nigeria report paying higher wages but they are not doing so.

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