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Home > Events > Job Talk - Fishy Behavior: A Field Experiment on (Dis)honesty in the Marketplace

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Job Talk - Fishy Behavior: A Field Experiment on (Dis)honesty in the Marketplace

We conduct a natural field experiment in fish markets where sellers frequently cheat on weight and face negligible economic penalty. Exploiting exogenous variations in fish prices, an indicator of marginal economic benefit from cheating, we examine how dishonest behavior varies with rising economic benefit from cheating. We find that most sellers cheat but that cheating almost never exceeds ten percent of purchased quantity, and that the value of cheating is small. The data reveal a non-monotonic relationship wherein cheating initially increases and thereafter decreases in the fish price.
by Rob Peeler Mar 16, 2017
When Mar 29, 2017
from 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM
Where 12 Katz Building, University Park, PA 16802
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Presented by Haimanti Bhattacharya

Abstract

We conduct a natural field experiment in fish markets where sellers frequently cheat on weight
and face negligible economic penalty. Exploiting exogenous variations in fish prices, an
indicator of marginal economic benefit from cheating, we examine how dishonest behavior
varies with rising economic benefit from cheating. We find that most sellers cheat but that
cheating almost never exceeds ten percent of purchased quantity, and that the value of cheating is
small. The data reveal a non-monotonic relationship wherein cheating initially increases and
thereafter decreases in the fish price.