Nobody likes a rat

On the willingness to report lies and the consequences thereof

Ernesto Reuben, Matt Stephenson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We investigate the intrinsic motivation of individuals to report, and thereby sanction, fellow group members who lie for personal gain. We further explore the changes in lying and reporting behavior that result from giving individuals a say in who joins their group. We find that enough individuals are willing to report lies such that in fixed groups lying is unprofitable. However, we also find that when groups can select their members, individuals who report lies are generally shunned, even by groups where lying is absent. This facilitates the formation of dishonest groups where lying is prevalent and reporting is nonexistent.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)384-391
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
    Volume93
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

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    Willingness
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    Keywords

    • Dishonesty
    • Lying aversion
    • Social norms
    • Whistleblowing

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    Nobody likes a rat : On the willingness to report lies and the consequences thereof. / Reuben, Ernesto; Stephenson, Matt.

    In: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 93, 01.09.2013, p. 384-391.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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