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On Cheating and Whistle-Blowing

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  • Aleksander Berentsen
  • Esther Brügger
  • Simon Lörtscher

Abstract

We study the role of whistleblowing in the following inspection game. Two agents who compete for a prize can either behave legally or illegally. After the competition, a controller investigates the agents’ behavior. This inspection game has a unique (Bayesian) equilibrium in mixed strategies. We then add a whistleblowing stage, where the controller asks the loser to blow the whistle. This extended game has a unique perfect Bayesian equilibrium in which only a cheating loser accuses the winner of cheating and the controller tests the winner if and only if the winner is accused of cheating. Whistleblowing reduces the frequencies of cheating, is less costly in terms of test frequencies, and leads to a strict Pareto-improvement if punishments for cheating are suffciently large.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 153.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:153

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Keywords: Whistleblowing; leniency; inspection games; signalling;

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Cited by:
  1. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Calculating Tragedy: Assessing the Costs of Terrorism," CESifo Working Paper Series 1341, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Aleksander Berentsen & Yvan Lengwiler, . "Fraudulent Accounting and Other Doping Games," IEW - Working Papers 175, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Libor Dušek & Andreas Ortman & Lubomír Lízal, 2005. "Understanding Corruption and Corruptibility Through Experiments," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2005(2), pages 147-162.

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