Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Deception and Incentives: How Dishonesty Undermines Effort Provision

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ederer, Florian

    ()
    (MIT)

  • Fehr, Ernst

    ()
    (University of Zurich)

Abstract

In this paper we show that subtle forms of deceit undermine the effectiveness of incentives. We design an experiment in which the principal has an interest in underreporting the true performance difference between the agents in a dynamic tournament. According to the standard approach, rational agents should completely disregard the performance feedback of self-interested principals and choose their effort level as if they had not been given any information. However, despite substantial underreporting many principals seem to exhibit lying aversion which renders their feedback informative. Therefore, the agents respond to the feedback but discount it strongly by reducing their effort relative to fully truthful performance feedback. Moreover, previous experiences of being deceived exacerbate the problem and eventually reduce average effort even below the level that prevails in the absence of any feedback. Thus, both no feedback and truthful feedback are better for incentives than biased feedback.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3200.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3200.

as in new window
Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3200

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: deception; dishonesty; communication; cheap talk; dynamic tournaments;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. 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.
  2. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  3. 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.
  4. Christine Harbring & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Kräkel & Reinhard Selten, 2004. "Sabotage in Asymmetric Contests – An Experimental Analysis," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse12_2004, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  7. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  8. Bull, Clive & Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1987. "Tournaments and Piece Rates: An Experimental Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(1), pages 1-33, February.
  9. Jordi Brandts & Gary Charness, 2003. "Truth or Consequences: An Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(1), pages 116-130, January.
  10. Nina Mazar & Dan Ariely, 2006. "Dishonesty in everyday life and its policy implications," Working Papers 06-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  11. Joseph Tao-yi Wang & Michael Spezio & Colin F. Camerer, 2006. "Pinocchio's Pupil: Using Eyetracking and Pupil Dilation to Understand Truth-telling and Deception in Games," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000042, UCLA Department of Economics.
  12. Florian Ederer, 2010. "Feedback and Motivation in Dynamic Tournaments," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 733-769, 09.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  14. John W. Dickhaut & Kevin A. McCabe & Arijit Mukherji, 1995. "An experimental study of strategicinformation transmission," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 389-403.
  15. Aoyagi, Masaki, 2010. "Information feedback in a dynamic tournament," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 242-260, November.
  16. Schotter, Andrew & Weigelt, Keith, 1992. "Asymmetric Tournaments, Equal Opportunity Laws, and Affirmative Action: Some Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 511-39, May.
  17. Santiago Sanchez-Pages & Marc Vorsatz, 2004. "An Experimental Study of Truth-Telling in a Sender-Receiver Game," ESE Discussion Papers 128, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Tor Eriksson & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2009. "Feedback and incentives: Experimental evidence," Post-Print halshs-00451557, HAL.
  2. John List & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Field experiments in labor economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00092, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The Importance of Relative Performance Feedback Information: Evidence from a Natural Experiment using High School Students," Working Papers 444, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter, 2011. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  5. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The Provision of Relative Performance Feedback Information: An Experimental Analysis of Performance and Happiness," Working Papers 454, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Bin R. Chen & Y. Stephen Chiu, 2013. "Interim Performance Evaluation in Contract Design," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123, pages 665-698, 06.
  7. Belot, Michèle & Bhaskar, V. & van de Ven, Jeroen, 2010. "Promises and cooperation: Evidence from a TV game show," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 396-405, March.
  8. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2009. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28520, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3200. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

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.