Fake Data Scandal Ensnares 2 Harvard Business School Professors

The paper, co-authored by Business School professors Max H. Bazerman and Francesca Gino, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2012. Robbie H Edwards photo

The Harvard Crimson reports: “A highly-regarded behavioral economics paper on preventing fraud in self-reports, co-authored by two Harvard Business School professors, has been submitted for retraction following allegations that the data itself is fraudulent and fabricated.

“The paper, co-authored by Business School professors Max H. Bazerman and Francesca Gino, was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2012. The study found that people were less likely to lie if they signed an honesty declaration at the beginning rather than the end of a form. Its findings were used widely by insurance companies, corporate executives, and government agencies to fight fraudulent reporting behavior.”

Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus professor of business administration at HBS; Gino is the Tandon Family professor of business administration and a 2015 Poets&Quants Best 40 Under 40 Professor.

“On Aug. 17, Data Colada, a quantitative analysis blog, published a post claiming to have found ‘very strong evidence’ that the data in one of the field studies is fraudulent,” the Crimson reports. “Co-authors Uri Simonsohn, Leif D. Nelson, and Joseph P. Simmons urged journals to require publication of data along with the results of studies.

“Four of the five co-authors told BuzzFeed News in August that they were not involved in the data collection for that experiment, which was run by an insurance company on its customers.

“The one researcher who was in contact with the insurance company, Duke School of Business professor Dan Ariely, wrote in a statement posted on Data Colada that he did not fabricate the data and ‘was not involved in the data collection, data entry, or merging data with information from the insurance database for privacy reasons.’

“The integrity of Ariely’s research has been questioned on at least two occasions before, according to Buzzfeed News. In 2008, he published research claiming that asking test-takers to recall the Ten Commandments before an exam reduced cheating, but external researchers failed to replicate the results. Editors recently added a note to a study he completed in 2004 when he failed to provide the journal with accompanying data.


MIT’s innovation and entrepreneurship community just got 50,000 square feet of new space to work with.

The institute’s new InnovationHQ encompasses five floors in the recently renovated Suffolk Building, or E38, in the heart of Kendall Square. It serves as a hub for students at every stage of their entrepreneurial journeys, from undergraduates to Ph.D.s, and includes space for alumni, faculty members, and staff.

“IHQ was designed to encourage those chance collisions which spark the innovation process amongst people and teams who may not otherwise meet,” says Fiona Murray, the associate dean for innovation and inclusion in MIT’s Sloan School of Management and the co-director of MIT Innovation Initiative (MITii), which designed the space with architects NADAAA and Perkins + Will.

Each floor features open, flexible layouts, and six departments, labs, and centers that formerly supported student entrepreneurship from different parts of campus now call it home. Conference rooms, meeting areas, and staff office space are also available.


Harvard Business School has announced the 2021 recipients of its Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowships. Established in 1988 by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and Richard L. Menschel (MBA 1959), a former director of the Foundation and a limited partner at Goldman Sachs, to encourage students from the nonprofit and public sector to attend HBS, these fellowships enable the school to award $10,000 to a select number of incoming MBA students.

Beginning with the Class of 1990, 236 incoming students have received the fellowship. Recipients of the award have served in leadership roles in nonprofit and public sector organizations and demonstrate a strong commitment to continued career paths in these areas.

New recipients are invited to participate in events with current and former recipients as well as local social enterprise leaders in an effort to create a network of individuals committed to working in social enterprise.


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