In this paper, we study the correlation between cheating in the lab and cheating in the field. We conduct a laboratory experiment using a variant of the Mind game (Jiang, 2013). Payoffs above a certain threshold are indicative of cheating behavior. Subjects are paid their earnings by bank transfer. A fraction of the subjects is deliberately paid more than their earnings. We send subjects a reminder e-mail stating their earnings and asking them if they have received their payment. We find a significant correlation of 0.31 between cheating in the lab and in the field. Subjects with higher payoffs in the Mind game are also less likely to report the overpayment. Our results speak to the lab-field generalizability of cheating behavior.
- laboratory experiment
- natural field experiment