To the top

Page Manager: Webmaster
Last update: 9/11/2012 3:13 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Why (field) experiments o… - University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Why (field) experiments on unethical behavior are important: Comparing stated and revealed behavior

Journal article
Authors Yonas Alem
Håkan Eggert
Martin G. Kocher
Remidius Denis Ruhinduka
Published in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Volume 156
Pages 71-85
ISSN 0167-2681
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 71-85
Language en
Keywords Honesty, Kindness, Guilt, Field experiment, Behavioral economics, contingent valuation, gift exchange, honesty, dishonesty, deception, fairness, aversion, beliefs, market, number, Business & Economics
Subject categories Economics


Understanding unethical behavior is essential to many phenomena in the real world. We carry out a field experiment in a unique setting that varies the levels of reciprocity and guilt in an ethical decision. A survey more than one year before the field experiment allows us to compare at the individual level stated unethical behavior with revealed behavior in the same situation in the field. Our results indicate a strong discrepancy between stated and revealed behavior, regardless of the specific treatment in the field experiment. This suggests that, given a natural setting, people may actually behave inconsistently with the way in which they otherwise "brand" themselves. Our findings raise caution about the interpretation of stated behavioral measures commonly used in research on unethical behavior. In addition, we show that inducing reciprocity and guilt leads to a decrease in unethical behavior. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?