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(When) Would I Lie To You? Comment on ?Deception: The Role of Consequences?

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Abstract

This paper reconsiders the evidence on lying or deception presented in Gneezy (2005,American Economic Review). We argue that Gneezy?s data cannot reject the hip?esis that people are one of two kinds: either a person will never lie, or a person will lie whenever she prefers the outcome obtained by lying over the outcome obtained by telling the truth. This implies that so long as lying induces a preferred outcome over truth-telling, a person?s decisi? of whether to lie may be completely insensitive to other changes in the induced outcomes, such as exactly how much she monetarily gains relative to how much she hurts an anonymous partner. We run new but similar experiments to those of Gneezy in order to test this hypothesis. We find that our data cannot reject this hypothesis either, but we also discover substantial differences in behavior between our sub jects and Gneezy?s sub jects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 664.06.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 02 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:664.06

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Keywords: experimental economics; lying; deception; social preferences;

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References

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  1. Amartya Sen, 1996. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1766, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Navin Kartik, 2005. "Information Transmission with Cheap and Almost-Cheap Talk," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000650, www.najecon.org.
  3. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  4. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Joseph Tao-Yi, 2006. "Overcommunication in strategic information transmission games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 7-36, July.
  5. Lacker, Jeffrey M & Weinberg, John A, 1989. "Optimal Contracts under Costly State Falsification," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1345-63, December.
  6. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  7. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  8. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory Of Fairness, Competition, And Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefano Demichelis & Jorgen W. Weibull, 2008. "Language, Meaning, and Games: A Model of Communication, Coordination, and Evolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1292-1311, September.
  2. Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2009. "Sexual orientation and self-reported lying," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 83-104, March.
  3. Rode, Julian, 2007. "Truth and Trust in Communication: An Experimental Study of Behavior under Asymmetric Information," Ratio Working Papers 111, The Ratio Institute.
  4. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2007. "Enjoy the Silence: An Experiment on Truth-Telling," ESE Discussion Papers 155, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  5. Demichelis, Stefano & Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Efficiency, communication and honesty," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 645, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2006.
  6. Serra Garcia, M. & Damme, E.E.C. van & Potters, J.J.M., 2008. "Truth or Efficiency? Communication in a Sequential Public Good Game (Replaced by DP 2010-80)," Discussion Paper 2008-107, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

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