What does a young cheater look like? An innovative approach

Battiston, Pietro and Gamba, Simona and Rotondi, Valentina (2019) What does a young cheater look like? An innovative approach. In: Dishonesty in Behavioral Economics. Elsevier Ltd. Academic Press, pp. 53-78.

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Many studies have investigated the individual determinants of cheating behavior in laboratory experiments. In this chapter, we focus on the propensity to cheat of adolescents. By employing the results of a lab-in-the-field experiment and combining them with the results of a detailed questionnaire including questions on personality traits and demographic characteristics, we study the determinants of cheating in a population of Italian boy and girl scouts aged 12–16. A principal component analysis clearly identifies the important role of self-confidence—while the role of risk propensity is at most marginal. A study of interaction between traits, implemented through decision tree classifiers, confirms this main result and the validity of the PCA approach; moreover, it provides suggestive evidence of the importance of gender and risk propensity in specific subsamples of the population.

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