Pre-planning and its effects on repeated dishonest behavior: An experiment

Subhasish M. Chowdhury, Chulyoung Kim, Sang Hyun Kim

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3 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate experimentally the effects of the opportunity to pre-plan one's action on dynamic (im)moral decision makings in two stages. In the experiment we either provided the subjects at the outset with the information that they might be able to tell lies to improve their payoff repeatedly (hence they could pre-plan accordingly), or provided such information at the beginning of each stage (and hence they could not pre-plan). Furthermore, we controlled whether they had the incentive to resort to telling a lie in the first stage or not. Our two main findings are: (i) when subjects were not informed about the second opportunity to lie at the outset, those who had an opportunity to lie in the first stage lied more often in the second stage compared to those who did not have such an opportunity; and (ii) pre-planning induced subjects to lie more often in the first stage. We conjecture that pre-planning invited a compensatory, instead of consistent, action, and thus induced more dishonest responses in the beginning and fewer later. We also discuss the extent of ‘partial lying’, i.e., lying in only one stage, across the treatments and its effect on the overall rate of lying.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of Economic Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank two anonymous referees, Joo Young Jeon, Martin Kocher, Gerd Muehlheusser, the participants at the ESA European meetings in Berlin, and the seminar participants at Hamburg, Loughborough, and Seoul National for useful comments. Any remaining errors are our own. This work was supported by the Yonsei University Future‐leading Research Initiative of 2017(RMS2 2017‐22‐0049). Yonsei University Ethics approval was obtained for this project, with ethics approval number 7001988‐201808‐HR‐220‐06.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Bulletin of Economic Research published by Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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