Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/144892
Authors: 
Kocher, Martin
Schudy, Simeon
Spantig, Lisa
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
Munich Discussion Paper 2016-8
Abstract: 
Unethical behavior such as dishonesty, cheating and corruption occurs frequently in organizations or groups. Recent experimental evidence suggests that there is a stronger inclination to behave immorally in groups than individually. We ask if this is the case, and if so, why. Using a parsimonious laboratory setup, we study how individual behavior changes when deciding as a group member. We observe a strong dishonesty shift. This shift is mainly driven by communication within groups and turns out to be independent of whether group members face payoff commonality or not (i.e. whether other group members benefit from one's lie). Group members come up with and exchange more arguments for being dishonest than for complying with the norm of honesty. Thereby, group membership shifts the perception of the validity of the honesty norm and of its distribution in the population.
Subjects: 
dishonesty
lying
group decisions
communication
norms
experiment
JEL: 
C91
C92
D03
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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