Demographics, Career Concerns Or Social Comparison: Who Games SSRN Download Counts?

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Executive Summary

The authors use a unique database of every SSRN paper download over the course of seven years, along with detailed resume data on a random sample of SSRN authors, to examine the role of demographic factors, career concerns, and social comparisons on the commission of a particular type of gaming: the self downloading of an author's own SSRN working paper solely to inflate the paper's reported download count. These results indicate the importance of including psychological factors in the study of deceptive behavior.

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