This paper experimentally analyzes the determinants of the honesty norm in a lying game. The findings confirm common gender differences, i.e., men cheat significantly more than women. We detect a novel correlation between subjects' magnitude of concern they have for others (social value orientation) and their moral valuation of the norm honesty. The data suggest that individualistic subjects are less honest than prosocial ones. Interestingly, this difference can explain the gender differences we observe. First, we find that the distribution of social value orientation differs between gender, i.e., significantly more male subjects are characterized as individualistic subjects. Second, once we control for social value orientation the gender differential disappears.
experiment gender differences honesty social value orientation