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The aversion to lying

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Author Info

  • Lundquist, Tobias
  • Ellingsen, Tore
  • Gribbe, Erik
  • Johannesson, Magnus

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the effect of cheap talk in a bargaining game with one-sided asymmetric information. A seller has private information about her skill and is provided an opportunity to communicate this information to a buyer through a written message. Four different treatments are compared: one without communication, one with free-form communication, and two treatments with pre-specified communication in the form of promises of varying strength. Our results suggest that individuals have an aversion towards lying about private information and that the aversion to lying increases with the size of the lie and the strength of the promise. Freely formulated messages lead to the fewest lies and the most efficient outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 70 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (May)
Pages: 81-92

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:81-92

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Deception Communication Lies Promises Experiments;

References

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  1. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
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  9. Holm, Håkan & Daielson, Anders, 2004. "Fairness and Promises for Sale," Working Papers 2004:18, Lund University, Department of Economics, revised 15 Aug 2005.
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  13. Valley, Kathleen & Thompson, Leigh & Gibbons, Robert & Bazerman, Max H., 2002. "How Communication Improves Efficiency in Bargaining Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 127-155, January.
  14. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
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  16. Bochet, Olivier & Putterman, Louis, 2009. "Not just babble: Opening the black box of communication in a voluntary contribution experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 309-326, April.
  17. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Promises, Threats and Fairness," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 397-420, 04.
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