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People’s honesty is often a crucial consideration in politics and in economics as well as in society more generally. In this video, URS FISCHBACHER outlines his development of an instrument to measure honesty and patterns of dishonesty. Participants rolled a die and were told that their number corresponded to a payoff. Though the experiment showed that people were dishonest, it also demonstrated that this was not always the case. Fischbacher explains how the initial experiment has been expanded and refined to bring about advances in both our theoretical and practical conception of honesty.


Urs Fischbacher is Chair of Applied Research in Economics at the University of Konstanz and Director of the Thurgau Institute of Economics. Having pursued a successful career as a software developer following his doctoral work in mathematics, Professor Fischbacher’s focus shifted to economics at the University of Zurich. Fischbacher’s main research interests include experimental economics, behavioral economics, and social preferences and, in 2016, he received the Joachim Herz Economics Prize for Best Research Work.

Original publication

Lies in Disguise - An Experimental Study on Cheating

Fischbacher Urs and Föllmi-Heusi Franziska
Journal of the European Economic Association
Published in 2013