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Truth, Trust, and Sanctions: On Institutional Selection in Sender–Receiver Games

  • Ronald Peeters
  • Marc Vorsatz
  • Markus Walzl

We conduct a laboratory experiment to investigate the impact of institutions and institutional choice on truth-telling and trust in sender-receiver games. We find that in an institution with sanctioning opportunities, receivers sanction predominantly after having trusted lies. Individuals who sanction are responsible for truth-telling beyond standard equilibrium predictions and are more likely to choose the sanctioning institution. Sanctioning and non-sanctioning institutions coexist if their choice is endogenous and the former shows a higher level of truth-telling but lower material payoffs. It is shown that our experimental findings are consistent with the equilibrium analysis of a logit agent quantal response equilibrium with two distinct groups of individuals: one consisting of subjects who perceive non-monetary lying costs as senders and non-monetary costs when being lied to as receivers and one consisting of payoff maximizers.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/sjoe.12003
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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 115 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 508-548

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:115:y:2013:i:2:p:508-548
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  1. Charness, Gary & Rabin, Matthew, 2001. "Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4qz9k8vg, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2005. "Social norms and social choice," NIMA Working Papers 30, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H & Schulze, William D, 1999. "Changing the Social Norm of Tax Compliance by Voting," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 141-71.
  6. 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.
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