Context-dependent cheating: Experimental evidence from 16 countries

David Pascual-Ezama, Toke R. Fosgaard, Juan Camilo Cardenas, Praveen Kujal, Robert Ferenc Veszteg, Beatriz Gil-Gómez de Liaño, Brian Gunia, Doris Weichselbaumer, Katharina Hilken, Armenak Antinyan, Joyce Delnoij, Antonios Proestakis, Michael D. Tira, Yulius Pratomo, Tarek Jaber-López, Pablo Brañas-Garza

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Policy makers use several international indices that characterize countries according to the quality of their institutions. However, no effort has been made to study how the honesty of citizens varies across countries. This paper explores the honesty among citizens across 16 countries with 1440 participants. We employ a very simple task where participants face a trade-off between the joy of eating a fine chocolate and the disutility of having a threatened self-concept because of lying. Despite the incentives to cheat, we find that individuals are mostly honest. Further, international indices that are indicative of institutional honesty are completely uncorrelated with citizens' honesty for our sample countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)379-386
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1



    • Corruption
    • Cultural differences
    • Honesty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    Pascual-Ezama, D., Fosgaard, T. R., Cardenas, J. C., Kujal, P., Veszteg, R. F., Gil-Gómez de Liaño, B., Gunia, B., Weichselbaumer, D., Hilken, K., Antinyan, A., Delnoij, J., Proestakis, A., Tira, M. D., Pratomo, Y., Jaber-López, T., & Brañas-Garza, P. (2015). Context-dependent cheating: Experimental evidence from 16 countries. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 116, 379-386.