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Complicity without connection or communication

Barr, Abigail; Michailidou, Georgia


Georgia Michailidou


We use a novel laboratory experiment involving a die rolling task embedded within a coordination game to investigate whether complicity can emerge when decision-making is simultaneous, the potential accomplices are strangers and neither communication nor signaling is possible. Then, by comparing the behavior observed in this original game to that in a variant in which die-roll reporting players are paired with passive players instead of other die-roll reporters, while everything else is held constant, we isolate the effect of having a potential accomplice on the likelihood of an individual acting immorally. We find that complicity can emerge between strangers in the absence of opportunities to communicate or signal and that having a potential accomplice increases the likelihood of an individual acting immorally.


Barr, A., & Michailidou, G. (2017). Complicity without connection or communication. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 142,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 19, 2017
Publication Date Oct 1, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2019
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Electronic ISSN 0167-2681
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 142
Keywords Complicity; Lying; Die under the cup task
Public URL
Publisher URL


BarrMichalidouFinalAuthorVersion.pdf (736 Kb)

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