Experimental Economics

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 155–177 | Cite as

Cheating, incentives, and money manipulation

  • Gary Charness
  • Celia Blanco-Jimenez
  • Lara Ezquerra
  • Ismael Rodriguez-LaraEmail author
Original Paper


We use different incentive schemes to study truth-telling in a die-roll task when people are asked to reveal the number rolled privately. We find no significant evidence of cheating when there are no financial incentives associated with the reports, but do find evidence of such when the reports determine financial gains or losses (in different treatments). We find no evidence of loss aversion in the standard case in which subjects receive their earnings in a sealed envelope at the end of the session. When subjects manipulate the possible earnings, we find evidence of less cheating, particularly in the loss setting; in fact, there is no significant difference in behavior between the non-incentivized case and the loss setting with money manipulation. We interpret our findings in terms of the moral cost of cheating and differences in the perceived trust and beliefs in the gain and the loss frames.


Cheating Lying Incentives Loss aversion Framing Experiment 

JEL Classification

A13 B49 D82 C91 D91 



We are thankful to the Co-editor Charles Noussair and three anonymous referees for their very valuable feedback and suggestions that really helped to improve the quality of the manuscript. We have also benefitted from discussion with participants at SEET Malta 2016, RES Brighton 2016, IMEBESS Barcelona 2017, CNEE Workshop Copenhagen 2017, Johannes Abeler, Alexander Cappelen, Hubert Janos Kiss, Martin Kocher, Praveen Kujal, Matteo Ploner, Giovanni Ponti and Marie Claire Villeval. We also thank the Laboratory for Research in Experimental Economics (LINEEX) for conducting our experiments. Ismael Rodriguez-Lara acknowledges financial support from FEDER and the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad under the Project CO2017-87245-R.

Supplementary material

10683_2018_9584_MOESM1_ESM.docx (191 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 191 kb)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, University of CaliforniaSanta BarbaraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of LondonEgham, SurreyUK
  3. 3.Department of Business EconomicsUniversitat de les Illes BalearsPalma De MallorcaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Economics, Business School, Hendon CampusMiddlesex University LondonThe Burroughs, LondonUK
  5. 5.Departamento de Teoria e Historia EconomicaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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