Research

Publications


Chang T. Y., Kajackaite A. (2019). Battle for the thermostat: Gender and the effect of temperature on cognitive performance. PLOS ONE, 14(5).

Kajackaite, A. (2018). Lying about Luck versus Lying about Performance. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 153, 194-199.

Gneezy, U., Kajackaite, A., Sobel, J. (2018). Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie. American Economic Review, 108(2), 419-453

Charness, G., Eckel, C. C., Gneezy, U., Kajackaite, A. (2018). Complexity in Risk Elicitation May Affect the Conclusions: A Demonstration Using Gender Differences. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 56(11), 1-17

Andersen, S., Gneezy, U., Marx, J., Kajackaite, A. (2018). Allowing for reflection time does not change behavior in Dictator and Cheating Games. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 145, 24-33

Kajackaite, A., Sliwka, D. (2017). Social responsibility and incentives in the lab: Why do agents exert more effort when principals donate? Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 142, 482-493

Kajackaite, A., Gneezy, U. (2017). Incentives and cheating. Games and Economic Behavior, 102, 433-444

Kajackaite, A. (2015). If I close my eyes, nobody will get hurt. The effect of ignorance on performance in a real effort experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 116, 518-524

Kajackaite, A., Werner, P. (2015). The incentive effects of performance requirements – A real effort experiment. Journal of Economic Psychology, 49, 84-94

Working Papers


Poverty negates the impact of social norms on cheating (with Suparee Boonmanunt and Stephan Meier), submitted

Cheating such as corruption and tax evasion are extremely prevalent in the developing world and therefore many interventions have been undertaken to reduce cheating in these countries. While there is some evidence that economic circumstance correlates with cheating, the causal effect of poverty on cheating and the effectiveness of interventions on the financially constrained remain an open question. Here we present results from a lab-in-the-field experiment with low-income rice farmers in Thailand (N=568), in which, firstly, we investigate the causal effect of poverty on cheating and secondly, test whether poverty affects the effectiveness of interventions to reduce cheating. We show that poverty itself does not affect willingness to cheat. However, while a standard social norm reminder intervention reduced cheating when the population was relatively rich (after harvest), it had no effect when the population was poorer (before harvest). Our results inform policy makers that the timing of interventions really matters.


Prosocial Managers, Employee Motivation, and the Creation of Shareholder Value (with Dirk Sliwka), submitted

Milton Friedman has famously claimed that the responsibility of a manager who is not the owner of a firm is “to conduct the business in accordance with their [the shareholders’] desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible.” In this paper we argue that when contracts are incomplete it is not necessarily in the interest even of money maximizing shareholders to pick a manager who pursues this goal. We show in a formal model and in a series of lab experiments that choosing a manager who has a preference to spend resources for social causes can increase employee motivation. In turn, ex-post losses in shareholder value may be offset by ex-ante gains in performance through higher employee motivation.


Lying to show off (with Kai Barron and Silvia Saccardo), submitted

The extensive literature on lying in economics has focused nearly exclusively on lying for monetary rewards. However, in everyday interactions, lying to gain a social image benefit – to appear to be better than one is – is ubiquitous, and perhaps even more common than lying to gain a material advantage. In this paper, we employ a novel laboratory experiment to study lying for social image in which we ask male participants to do as many push-ups as they can. In the observed condition, the experimenter is present in the room and counts the push-ups, whereas in the unobserved condition, the experimenter leaves the room and the participant later reports the number of push-ups to the experimenter. We find that even in the absence of any monetary rewards participants significantly over-report the number of push-ups completed, which suggests that social image is a strong driver of lying behavior. In addition, we find that adding monetary incentives in a form of a piece rate per push-up does not increase lying.


Incentive-based interventions (with Uri Gneezy and Stephan Meier) - to be published in Handbook of Behavior Change (Cambridge University Press)


Lying Costs and Incentives (with Uri Gneezy), previous job market paper, used for papers "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie" and "Incentives and Cheating"

We study the structure of intrinsic lying costs and how they interact with incentives. In the first set of experiments, after replicating the finding in the cheating game literature that lying does not increase with incentives, we show that this insensitivity is not a characteristic of the intrinsic lying cost, but rather a result of concern about being exposed as a liar. In a modified “mind” game in which this concern is reduced, we find that people lie more, and in particular lie more when the incentives to do so increase. After demonstrating that lying behavior is sensitive to incentives, our second set of experiments allows us to look deeper into the structure of the intrinsic cost of lying. Our results reject the common assumption of “small lies” due to convex cost of lying. By contrast, our data are consistent with a fixed intrinsic cost of lying: when our participants lie, they do so to the full extent, whereas partial lying is rare. Combined, our results show that for many participants, the decision to lie follows a simple cost-benefit analysis: they compare the intrinsic cost of lying with the incentives to lie; once the incentives are higher than the cost, they switch from telling the truth to lying to the full extent. We discuss policy implications regarding the construction of decision options with respect to incentives.


Work in Progress

Stakes, externalities and lying (with Uri Gneezy)

Observability in cheating games (with Tilman Fries, Uri Gneezy, and Daniel Parra)