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Size matters - when it comes to lies

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Author Info

  • Gerald Eisenkopf

    ()

  • Ruslan Gurtoviy

    ()

  • Verena Utikal

    ()

Abstract

A small lie appears trivial but it obviously violates moral commandments. We analyze whether the preference for others’ truth telling is absolute or depends on the size of a lie. In a laboratory experiment we compare punishment for different sizes of lies controlling for the resulting economic harm. We find that people are sensitive to the size of a lie and that this behavioral pattern is driven by honest people. People who lie themselves punish softly in any context.

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File URL: http://www.iaaeg.de/images/DiscussionPaper/2011_02.pdf
File Function: Initial version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) in its series IAAEG Discussion Papers until 2011 with number 20110517.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 17 May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iaa:wpaper:20110517

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Keywords: Lying; norm violation; punishment; experiment;

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References

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  1. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  5. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2007. "Enjoy the Silence: An Experiment on Truth-Telling," ESE Discussion Papers, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh 155, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  6. Gary Charness & Martin Dufwenberg, 2006. "Promises and Partnership," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 74(6), pages 1579-1601, November.
  7. Cai, Hongbin & Wang, Joseph Tao-Yi, 2006. "Overcommunication in strategic information transmission games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 7-36, July.
  8. Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Deception through telling the truth?! Experimental evidence from individuals and teams," Working Papers, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck 2007-26, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  9. Lundquist, Tobias & Ellingsen, Tore & Gribbe, Erik & Johannesson, Magnus, 2009. "The aversion to lying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 81-92, May.
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  14. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  15. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, 06.
  16. Sanchez-Pages, Santiago & Vorsatz, Marc, 2007. "An experimental study of truth-telling in a sender-receiver game," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 86-112, October.
  17. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  18. David K Levine, 1997. "Modeling Altruism and Spitefulness in Experiments," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2047, David K. Levine.
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  20. Croson, Rachel & Boles, Terry & Murnighan, J. Keith, 2003. "Cheap talk in bargaining experiments: lying and threats in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 143-159, June.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How should I lie?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-07-08 14:54:00
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. David Gill & Victoria Prowse & Michael Vlassopoulos, 2013. "Cheating in the workplace: An experimental study of the impact of bonuses and productivity," Economics Series Working Papers, University of Oxford, Department of Economics 666, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Serra Garcia, M. & Damme, E.E.C. van & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you Do? (replaces CentER DP 2010-033)," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 2011-139, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Reuben, Ernesto & Stephenson, Matt, 2013. "Nobody likes a rat: On the willingness to report lies and the consequences thereof," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 384-391.
  4. Reuben, Ernesto & Stephenson, Matt, 2012. "Nobody Likes a Rat: On the Willingness and Consequences of Reporting Lies," IZA Discussion Papers 6998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Serra Garcia, M. & Damme, E.E.C. van & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you do? (replaces TILEC DP 2010-016)," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center 2011-055, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.

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