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Using an artefactual field experiment, this paper tests the long-term implications of living in a specific economic system on individual dishonesty. By comparing cheating behaviour across individuals from the former socialist East of Germany with those of the capitalist West of Germany, we examine behavioural differences within a single country. We find long-term implications of living in a specific economic system for individual dishonesty when social interactions are possible: participants with an East German background cheated significantly more on an abstract die-rolling task than those with a West German background, but only when exposed to the enduring system of former West Germany. Moreover, our results indicate that the longer individuals had experienced socialist East Germany, the more likely they were to cheat on the behavioural task.
Ariely, D., Garcia-Rada, X., Gödker, K., Hornuf, L., & Mann, H. (2019). The impact of two different economic systems on dishonesty. European Journal of Political Economy, 59, 179–195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2019.02.010