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Curbstoning and culture


This paper examines various aspects of data fabrication, or ``curbstoning'' in field surveys. Our ability to detect and control such behavior is limited by the costs of the most effective instruments, the weakness of most of our instruments and our limited understanding of what drives such behavior. Culture, an emergent pattern of thoughts and behaviors from a larger complex of systems and behaviors, operates in spaces where direct incentives or control cannot reach. Monitoring is important, but fostering a healthy culture among field staff may be the most efficient and the most humane approach to controlling curbstoning.