Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Dishonesty, Social Information, and Sorting

AKIN, ZAFER (2018): Dishonesty, Social Information, and Sorting.

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The dishonesty literature investigates how people behave when they are provided certain types of information. However, this approach predominantly ignores the fact that people -to some extent- can choose which information they want to be exposed to. By conducting a laboratory experiment, we study individuals’ decisions to choose which social information they would like to observe and the effect of this sorting on their engagement in unethical conduct. We find evidence that sorting exacerbates the prevalence of dishonesty, which is mainly driven by the ones who chose maximum information. Our results demonstrate that sorting is an important factor determining dishonest behavior and that previously observed levels of prevalence of dishonesty in the literature can be an underestimate of actual level of dishonest behavior in real-world situations.

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