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An Experimental Study of Truth-Telling in a Sender-Receiver Game

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Abstract

A recent experimental study of Cai and Wang (2003) on strategic information transmission games reveals that subjects tend to transmit more information than predicted by the standard equilibrium analysis. To evidence that this overcommunication phenomenon can be explained in some situations in terms of a tension between normative social behavior and incentives for lying, we show that in a simple sender-receiver game subjects incurring in costs to punish liars tell the truth more often than predicted by the equilibrium analysis whereas subjects that do not punish liars after receiving a deceptive message play equilibrium strategies. Thus, we can partition the subject pool into two groups, one group of subjects with preferences for truth-telling and another group taking into account only economic incentives.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh in its series ESE Discussion Papers with number 128.

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Length: 32
Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:128

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Keywords: Experiment; Sender-Receiver Game; Strategic Informa- tion Transmission; Truth-Telling.;

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  1. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  2. Duffy, John & Feltovich, Nick, 2002. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? An Experimental Comparison of Observation and Cheap Talk," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-27, April.
  3. Miguel Costa-Gomes & Vincent P. Crawford & Bruno Broseta, . "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games:An Experimental Study," Discussion Papers 00/45, Department of Economics, University of York.
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  7. Blume, Andreas, et al, 1998. "Experimental Evidence on the Evolution of Meaning of Messages in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1323-40, December.
  8. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  9. Paul Heidhues & Johan Lagerlöf, 2000. "Hiding Information in Electoral Competition," CIG Working Papers FS IV 00-06, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG), revised Feb 2002.
  10. Morgan, J. & Stocken, P., 1998. "An Analysis of Stock Recommendations," Papers 204, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  11. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  15. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  16. 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.
  17. John Duffy & Nick Feltovich, 2006. "Words, Deeds, and Lies: Strategic Behaviour in Games with Multiple Signals," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 669-688.
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