Economics Seminars: Johannes Abeler (Oxford)

5 November 2019, 4.00 PM - 5 November 2019, 5.15 PM

Johannes Abeler (Oxford)

1B6, Priory Road Complex

Title: Determinants of preferences for honesty

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 what determines these preferences. We experimentally measure preferences for honesty in a sample of children. We first document several correlations between a child’s reporting behaviour and parents’ characteristics. We then provide causal evidence on the effect of the social environment by randomly enrolling children in a year-long mentoring program. We find that, almost four years after the end of the mentoring program, mentored children are significantly more honest.

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