(NaturalNews) Do socialists or capitalists cheat more? Well, a new study has answered that searing question.
It's the socialists.
As reported by Reason magazine online and CNSNews, teams of researchers from Duke University in North Carolina and the University of Munich in Germany examined the theory. According to their published study, the teams found that "[T]he longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task."
'The game was simple enough'
The authors of the study, called, "The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems," came to their conclusions after working with 259 participants from Berlin who grew up on opposite sides of the famous Berlin Wall, which separated communist, USSR-influenced East Germany from capitalist, U.S.-influenced West Germany during the Cold War.
When playing a game of dice that could earn them €6 ($8), subjects from the East were more likely than their free-market economy counterparts in the West to lie about how they fared.
The Economist explained the task:
The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim--falsely--that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.
The results were that "East Germans cheated twice as much as West Germans overall," leaving the researchers to arrive at the conclusion that "the political regime of socialism has a lasting impact on citizens' basic morality."
The researchers, in their paper, also discussed some related reasons for the outcome, such as that "socialist systems have been characterized by extensive scarcity, which ultimately led to the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in East Germany."
Capitalists donate a bit more to charity, too
"In many instances," researchers continued, "socialism pressured or forced people to work around official laws. For instance, in East Germany stealing a load of building materials in order to trade it for a television set might have been the only way for a driver of gravel loads to connect to the outside world. Moreover, socialist systems have been characterized by a high degree of infiltration by the intelligence apparatus."
The university research teams put their work up against a 2013 study, "Of Morals, Markets and Mice," which concluded "that market economies decay morals" but "compared decisions in bilateral and multilateral market settings to individual decisions rather than an alternative economic allocation mechanism." The newer research found that "political and economic regimes such as socialism might have an even more detrimental effect on individuals' behavior."
In another aspect of the study, the researchers noted that while "we did not observe an overall difference between East and West Germans in pro-social behavior," like donating to hospitals, the capitalist-influenced demographic does donate marginally more than the socialist segment.
The Economist further concluded:
The study reveals nothing about the nature of the link between socialism and dishonesty. It might be a function of the relative poverty of East Germans, for example. All the same, when it comes to ethics, a capitalist upbringing appears to trump a socialist one.
Nearly a quarter-century after the wall came down, the http://qz.com.