Truth, trust, and sanctions: On institutional selection in sender-receiver games
AbstractThis paper reports on a laboratory experiment which investigates the impact of institutions and institutional choice in constant-sum sender-receiver games. We compare individual sender and receiver behavior in two different institutions: A sanction-free institution which is given by the bare sender-receiver game and a sanctioning institution which in addition offers the receiver the opportunity to (costly) sanction the sender after receiving feedback on the senders private information. We conduct the experiment in two phases: First, individuals are randomly assigned to an institution, and second they can choose the institution themselves.We find that sanctioning takes place predominantly after the receiver has trusted a lie by the sender. Those who are responsible for sanctioning are also responsible for truth-telling in excess with respect to models of rational payoff-maximizing agents.Thereby, the sanctioning institution exhibits more truth-telling. Most importantly, agents who sanction reveal preference for the sanctioning institution while the other subjects almost exclusively opt for the sanction-free institution. As a consequence, both institutions typically coexist in the second phase of the experiment and the sanctioning institution exhibits a higher level of truth-telling and lower aggregate material payoffs.To offer an explanation of our experimental findings, we formalize preferences for truth-telling as psychological payoffs and analyze the sender-receiver game as a dynamic psychological game à la Battigalli and Dufwenberg (2006). We demonstrate that standard models of social preferences are not able to explain observed sanctioning behavior and excessive truth-telling. Explicit psychological costs of lying and the exposition to a lie, however, are able to fill this gap. To this end, we model deontological and consequentialistic preferences for truth-telling and evaluate their respective explanatory power.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Maastricht : METEOR, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization in its series Research Memoranda with number 034.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/UMPublications.htm
Other versions of this item:
- Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz & Markus Walzl, 2013. "Truth, Trust, and Sanctions: On Institutional Selection in Sender–Receiver Games," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 508-548, 04.
- Ronald Peeters & Marc Vorsatz & Markus Walzl, 2011. "Truth, trust, and sanctions: On institutional selection in sender-receiver games," Working Papers 2011-28, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
- C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
- C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-71.
- Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2005. "Social norms and social choice," NIMA Working Papers 30, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
- Crawford, Vincent P., 2001.
"Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions,"
University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series
qt6k65014s, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
- Vincent P. Crawford, 2003. "Lying for Strategic Advantage: Rational and Boundedly Rational Misrepresentation of Intentions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 133-149, March.
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2003.
"Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests,"
General Economics and Teaching
- Gary Charness & Matthew Rabin, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 817-869, August.
- Charness, Gary B & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences With Simple Tests," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt0dc3k4m5, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3d04q5sm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- 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.
- Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
- Gurdal, Mehmet Y. & Ozdogan, Ayca & Saglam, Ismail, 2013. "Cheap talk with simultaneous versus sequential messages," MPRA Paper 45727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Charles Bollen).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.