انجام کار اشتباه برای انجام کار درست؟ ترجیحات اجتماعی و رفتار نادرست
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37564||2014||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10180 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 106, October 2014, Pages 124–139
Abstract Can pro-social preferences lead to dishonest or unethical behavior? Lab evidence suggests that it can. In this paper, we document some of the first field evidence of this phenomenon. In this study, individuals were hired as field staff and tasked with distributing subsidized price vouchers following a clearly specified protocol. We find substantial deviation from the protocol, i.e., cheating. We study the mis-allocation of the vouchers to gain some insight into motivations for dishonesty. In our main result we find that the field staff were significantly more likely to allocate the higher value vouchers (those representing a greater subsidy) to the poorest beneficiaries. While we are not able to definitively establish the motivations for this observed pro-social behavior, we argue that this result is consistent with a model of social preferences and less consistent with a pure self-interest motive.
Introduction Economists (and others) have long been interested in dishonest behavior. The prevailing paradigm is that of the rational self-interested cheater, a model that traces its roots back to Becker's (1968) seminal paper. The presumption is that the decision to cheat or be dishonest is a rational calculation in which the individual weighs the personal payoff to the dishonest activity against the expected costs, and is dishonest when the net payoff is positive. This model in general has done very well in explaining dishonest behavior but fails to explain some puzzling phenomena. For example, (Mazar et al., 2008) have shown that even when there are financial gains and the cost of cheating is low, the extent of cheating is much lower than the rational model would predict. In their lab based experimental setup, despite a very low probability of the experimenter discovering that they had cheated,2 the level of cheating was only 20% of the possible maximum.3 Another puzzling finding is that people are dishonest even when there are no monetary benefits to them, and costs are non-trivial. Examples include lying to a supervisor/manager to ‘cover-up’ for a friend, or a manager overstating the performance of an employee (Gino and Pierce, 2009). Kremer and Chen (2001) discuss a program to combat school teacher absenteeism in Kenya in which teachers who came to work regularly were rewarded with bicycles. On paper, the program appeared to be working very well, but unannounced monitoring visits revealed that absenteeism rates had not changed, and the headmaster was (dishonestly) recording teachers as present so that they could receive the bicycle. In this paper, we explore other (non-traditional) motivations for dishonest behavior. Of particular interest to us is the extent to which pro-social motives may help to explain cheating. Newer theoretical models incorporating pro-social preferences – see (Rabin, 1993) and (Charness and Rabin, 2002) for models of reciprocity; and (Andreoni, 1990), and (Andreoni and Miller, 2002) for models of altruism – have been tested in numerous lab experiments and repeatedly demonstrate that concepts such as altruism, fairness and reciprocity are important in human interactions, and that human beings care about more than just maximizing their own personal payoffs (Rabin, 1998), (Andreoni et al., 2008), (Fehr and Gachter, 2000). These theories have however only been applied in a limited way to the study of dishonest behavior – see for example (van Winden and Ash, 2012). (Mazar and Ariely, 2006) have argued for richer models of dishonest behavior that include considerations such as social utility and concern for others. There is some recent laboratory evidence that pro-social preferences may play an important role in dishonest behavior. In experiments carried out by (Gino et al., 2013), participants were asked to solve a set of matrices,4 and received $0.50 for each matrix solved correctly within a fixed time period. Some participants were assigned one or more partners with whom they would split the winnings. In one of the treatment arms, subjects were told to shred their answer sheets – in other words, participants were paid based only on their reported performance (there was no verification). The authors found that not only were participants more likely to cheat when someone else benefited, they also found that the level of cheating was greater when more people stood to benefit (people in a larger vs. smaller team). They attribute this (in part) to participants caring about the benefits that their actions created for others. (Gino and Pierce, 2009) and (Wiltermuth, 2011) have also documented similar findings in the lab. As (Levitt and List, 2007) have argued however, one needs to exercise caution in generalizing from behavior in the lab to behavior in the field. In this paper we provide some of the first field evidence of pro-social dishonest behavior (consistent with lab findings). We make use of a data collection process that incorporated the distribution of discounted price vouchers for health care screening. Field staff (hereafter referred to as interviewers) were required to follow a strict randomization protocol in distributing the vouchers to recipients, however we found substantial deviation from the protocol, i.e., cheating. By studying the misallocation of the price vouchers, we gain some unique insights into dishonest behavior in a real world setting. We combine data on the observed distribution of price vouchers, with data on the characteristics of the interviewers, and data on the characteristics of beneficiaries, to study potential explanations for the observed dishonest behavior. The first allows us to construct statistical measures of dishonesty (based on a test of equality between the expected and the realized price distributions), the second allows us to study the determinants of dishonesty, and the third allows us to examine the characteristics of individuals that benefited from the subverted allocation. We find that the field staff were significantly more likely to (mis)allocate the lowest price vouchers to the poorest individuals. While we are not able to definitively establish the motivations for this observed pro-social behavior, we argue that this result is consistent with a model of social preferences and less consistent with a pure self-interest motive. Dishonesty is often hidden and therefore difficult to measure, making it a difficult phenomenon to study (Olken and Pande, 2012).5 Part of the contribution of this study is that we can construct statistical measures of dishonesty: by combining this with rich survey data on the beneficiaries, we can learn something about the motivations of the dishonest agents. This approach is similar in spirit to (Besley et al., 2012) who study allocation of Below the Poverty Line (BPL) cards in India and show that after controlling for wealth, education, and asset-based eligibility, politicians were significantly more likely to own a BPL Card.6 In contrast with the prevailing paradigm regarding the nature of corruption, we document novel evidence of the allocation mechanism being misappropriated not to benefit the elite, but to benefit the poor. The rest of the paper proceeds as follows: in Section 2 we describe the study, in Section 3 we discuss our data, in Section 4 we present our empirical strategy and results, in Section 5 we discuss the results and Section 6 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Conclusion In this study, we take advantage of a unique set of circumstances to study dishonest behavior in a real world setting. In a field study in Nigeria in which field staff were recruited and asked to distribute subsidized price vouchers, we found that the interviewers appropriated the allocation mechanism, and misallocated the vouchers. We find that the interviewers were consistently more likely to allocate the lower price vouchers (representing greater subsidies) not to the elites in the community, but to the poorest women. We argue that this result indicates some form of pro-social preferences, but acknowledge that we cannot conclusively rule out a self-interest motive driven by a ‘warm glow’ effect, or by image motivation. We test alternative explanations including the possibility that the interviewers were trying to maximize take-up of health screening and do not find supporting evidence. This paper provides some of the first real world evidence of pro-social dishonest behavior, consistent with models proposed by (Mazar and Ariely, 2006) and with evidence from several lab experiments (Gino et al., 2013). The results in this paper also offer some practical policy implications. First, they serve as a cautionary tale for field experiments relying on in-the-field randomization approaches implemented by hired staff or community members. The results presented here suggest that such approaches can lead to systematic misassignment undermining the randomization procedure, resulting in selection biases that the very design of a randomized controlled trial is trying to solve. Second, the results suggest that social programs that rely on community member allocation mechanisms may generate similar misallocations and not necessarily only benefit politicians or the politically connected as shown in other work (for example, Besley et al., 2012). At a minimum, this result suggests that in programs or research projects with limited and unequal benefits to community members, removing control over the allocation from staff that interact with community members, or strict monitoring if that is not possible, is necessary in order to limit such behavior. The idea that sometimes doing wrong can be justified is one that has intuitive resonance. One does not have to go far afield to find examples of this phenomenon in today's society. Behavior that is considered unethical is allowed if it is in the interest of national security. Parents also routinely lie to their children because they consider it to be in the best interest of the child. Our results are consistent with this type of behavior – in this specific context, the interviewers may have reasoned that their actions were beneficial to the community because it allowed more poor women to take advantage of the screening being offered – but are not informative about whether this kind of behavior is beneficial to society. This is likely to be context-specific. They also do not speak to what enforcement mechanisms might be most effective at curtailing such behaviors. It is important to acknowledge that the results were documented in one specific context and may not generalize to other settings. Nigeria, for example, consistently ranks very low on global corruption indices (Transparency International, 2013), suggesting that dishonest behavior may be prevalent in this society. While the level of dishonest behavior may be higher in this setting, the finding that pro-social preferences can underlie dishonest behavior is one that should generalize to other settings. Generalizability may also be limited by the fact that the study sample in this case was all female (both interviewers and beneficiaries). On the one hand the existing literature indicates that men are generally more dishonest than women (Friesen and Gangadharan, 2012), suggesting that we may be understating dishonest behavior; but on the other hand, women may be more empathetic and may have stronger ‘other’ preferences (Gault and Sabini, 2000 and Macaskill et al., 2002), which might imply that this type of pro-social behavior would be less prevalent in a mixed sample.