Screening for Honesty

24 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2014

See all articles by Bradley J. Ruffle

Bradley J. Ruffle

McMaster University

Yossef Tobol

The Jerusalem College of Technology; The Carmel Academic Center

Abstract

We report the results of a field experiment on honesty conducted on 427 Israeli soldiers fulfilling their mandatory military service. Each soldier rolled a six-sided die in private and reported the outcome to the unit's cadet coordinator. For every point reported, the soldier received an additional half hour early release from the army base on Thursday afternoon. We find that the higher a soldier's military entrance score, the more honest he is on average. Moreover, to the extent that honesty is a valued trait, regression discontinuity analysis reveals that the Israeli military has optimally set the threshold score to qualify to be an officer. Our results bear important implications for the design of screening tests that evaluate employee honesty.

Keywords: experimental methods, honesty, personnel selection, soldiers, high non-monetary stakes, regression discontinuity design

JEL Classification: C93, M51

Suggested Citation

Ruffle, Bradley J. and Tobol, Yossef, Screening for Honesty. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8286, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462718 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462718

Bradley J. Ruffle (Contact Author)

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://socialsciences.mcmaster.ca/people/ruffle-bradley

Yossef Tobol

The Jerusalem College of Technology ( email )

Jerusalem
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.jct.ac.il/he/tobol

The Carmel Academic Center ( email )

Haifa
Israel

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