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Size matters - when it comes to lies

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  • 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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz in its series TWI Research Paper Series with number 66.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0066

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Keywords: Lying; norm violation; punishment; experiment;

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References

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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
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Cited by:
  1. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria L. & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2012. "Cheating in the Workplace: An Experimental Study of the Impact of Bonuses and Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 6725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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 2011-139, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. 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).
  4. 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, vol. 93(C), pages 384-391.
  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 2011-055, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.

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