Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/58812
Authors: 
Ewers, Mara
Zimmermann, Florian
Year of Publication: 
2012
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper series, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 6425
Abstract: 
In this paper we ask if reports of private information about skills, abilities or achievements are affected by image concerns. We develop a simple model that illustrates how image utility can lead to misreporting of private information in contexts where truthful reports maximize monetary outcomes. In addition, we test the model's predictions in a controlled lab experiment. In the experiment, all subjects go through a series of quiz questions and subsequently report a performance measure. We vary if reports are made to an audience or not and find evidence for image effects. In the audience treatment, stated reports are significantly higher than in the private treatment. This suggests that overconfident appearance might be a consequence of social approval seeking. We also find that men state higher self-assessments than women. This gender difference seems to be driven by men responding more strongly to the presence of an audience.
Subjects: 
image concerns
self-assessment
overconfidence
experiment
JEL: 
C91
D03
D82
Persistent Identifier of the first edition: 
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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