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Delayed Honesty
Last registered on October 30, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Delayed Honesty
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003594
Initial registration date
November 23, 2018
Last updated
October 30, 2019 5:05 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Cologne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Cologne
PI Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-11-27
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Many economic interactions involve the release of private information to other agents. Often, there is a trade-off between truthful reporting, which may be morally desirable and/or socially optimal and lying, which may be individually optimal, i.e., payoff-maximizing. Rejecting the idea that economic agents are purely interested in their own monetary gains and without any ``moral compass'', a recent literature in economics has demonstrated a number of factors which influence an individual's degree of honesty, such as the possible gains from lying, the degree of social observability, and the ex-ante likelihood of different states of the world.

In this project, we investigate how the timing of when the costs and benefits of lying occur, affect people’s degree of dishonesty. In particular, we are interested in the following three questions: (i) How is lying affected when the benefits from misreporting accrue delayed rather than immediately? (ii) How does increased mental engagement with the lie affect misreporting when benefits are delayed? (iii) How does a delay between the time when private information is obtained and the time when people report it affect dishonesty? We study these questions in an online experiment conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bortolotti, Stefania, Felix Kölle and Lukas Wenner. 2019. "Delayed Honesty." AEA RCT Registry. October 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3594-3.1.
Former Citation
Bortolotti, Stefania, Felix Kölle and Lukas Wenner. 2019. "Delayed Honesty." AEA RCT Registry. October 30. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3594/history/56215.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-11-27
Intervention End Date
2018-12-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Fraction of subjects who report "2 Heads"
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We study lying behavior in an experiment conducted on MTurk. Subjects report the outcome of two coin flips, flipped in private unobserved by the experimenters. The payment is based on their report. In six different treatments we vary the relative timing between coin flips, report, and payment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
done by the experimental software (Qualtrics)
Randomization Unit
Participant
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1240 participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
1240 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 participants in treatments 1 to 4, 220 participants in treatments 5 and 6.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research (GfeW)
IRB Approval Date
2018-11-21
IRB Approval Number
IpGEQKmK
Analysis Plan

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