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Aleksandr Barsukov1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20, Myasnitskaya st., Moscow, Russia, 101000

Experimental Economics of Fraud

2013. Vol. 10. No. 4. P. 67–79 [issue contents]

One of the first experimental studies of fraud in Russia is presented. Based on the findings from other countries, a hypothesis was made that propensity to fraud in Russians would be positively associated with the size of the gains from a successful fraud and negatively associated with the probability of fraud detection and with the size of the ensuing penalty. The participants (N=82) were students and employees of Moscow companies who were asked to play games with monetary winnings. First, the participants were asked to throw a coin (and get ‘heads’), then they played the card game “21” (to attain a certain number of points), and finally they solved Sudoku puzzles. The outcome of each game was only seen by participants who could either report it honestly or deceive. The extent of fraud was evaluated by comparing the game outcome distributions from the participants’ self-reports with control group results or theoretical distributions. Both cross-individual and repeated measures plans were used. Experimental conditions differed in the size of reward for success (Study 1), penalty for unfair wins (Study 2), and the probability of it being detected (Studies 2 and 3). The results were statistically significant, confirming the hypotheses in all the series. The probability of fraud was increased in the settings with higher rewards (Study 1) and decreased in the settings with higher penalty (Study 2) and better surveillance by the experimenter (Studies 2 and 3). The limitations of the study are discussed, and directions future research are suggested.

Citation: Barsukov, A. V. (2013). Eksperimental'naya ekonomika obmana [Experimental Economics of Fraud]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 10(4), 65-77 (in Russian)
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