Corruption experiment

Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist about whom I have written many times before because he devises interesting experiments to test social values and behavior. He has done several experiments that looked at cheating and in the video below he talks about another one that seems to address the question that I posed two weeks ago about how openly unethical behavior at the top of the Trump administration might affect those lower down.

Ariely’s results are not encouraging.


  1. jrkrideau says

    Well no, Dan Ariely is a not behavioral economist, he’s a totally brilliant cognitive psychologist. I think the behavioral economist title is just because the pay is better.

    Economists are not that brilliant. Well with the possible exceptions of John Kenneth Galbraith and perhaps Keynes.

  2. flex says

    @ jrkrideau,

    Frankly, I’m not all that impressed with Galbraith, in my opinion he did most of his work in an anomalous economic time period which isn’t generally applicable unless we see a change in society (and possibly human goals). I think Piketty’s recent work has undermined a lot of Galbraith’s.

    But I think Smith, Ricardo, Mill, Keynes, and most importantly Veblen were all brilliant economists. Not much is mentioned about Veblen these days, but he introduced the irrational aspects of human consumption into economics and his works are definitely worth reading. I would call Dan Ariely a worthy successor to Thorstein Veblen. I like Henry George as well, and I like his attempt to understand the root of poverty in a capitalist society. But while George’s analysis seems to be sound I have doubts about how successful his proposed corrective actions would be.

    Of course, your mileage may vary. I’m not an economist, I just like reading their works.

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