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Deception: The role of uncertain consequences

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  • Dugar, Subhasish
  • Mitra, Arnab
  • Shahriar, Quazi

Abstract

We study how decisions to lie extend to risky environments. We provide experimental evidence from a sender-receiver game where there is uncertainty over the amount by which a sender's lie reduces its receiver's payoff, which is known only to potential liar. Even though all reduction amounts are equiprobable, ex-post beliefs elicited from senders suggest that, unlike truth-tellers, most liars underestimate the extent of the actual reduction in the receiver's payoff and appear to exploit this self-serving bias, resulting in substantially more lying relative to a baseline treatment without the uncertainty. Subsequent treatments confirm the bias by either providing additional evidence or by removing possible confounds. An intervention treatment nudging senders toward correcting the bias reduces lying.

Suggested Citation

  • Dugar, Subhasish & Mitra, Arnab & Shahriar, Quazi, 2019. "Deception: The role of uncertain consequences," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:114:y:2019:i:c:p:1-18
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2019.01.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Dugar, Subhasish & Shahriar, Quazi, 2023. "Lying for votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 46-72.
    2. Astrid Dannenberg & Elina Khachatryan, 2020. "A Comparison of Individual and Group Behavior in a Competition with Cheating Opportunities," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202003, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    3. Dufwenberg, Martin & Feldman, Paul & Servátka, Maroš & Tarrasó, Jorge & Vadovič, Radovan, 2023. "Honesty in the city," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 15-25.
      • Dufwenberg, Martin & Servátka, Maroš & Tarrasó, Jorge & Vadovič, Radovan, 2021. "Honesty in the City," MPRA Paper 106256, University Library of Munich, Germany.
      • Martin Dufwenberg & Paul Feldman & Maros Servatka & Jorge Tarraso & Radovan Vadovic, 2022. "Honesty in the City," Working Papers 2022-03, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
      • Dufwenberg, Martin & Feldman, Paul & Servátka, Maroš & Tarrasó, Jorge & Vadovič, Radovan, 2022. "Honesty in the city," MPRA Paper 115044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alice Guerra & Emanuela Randon & Antonello E. Scorcu, 2022. "Gender and deception: Evidence from survey data among adolescent gamblers," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(4), pages 618-645, November.
    5. Steinel, Wolfgang & Valtcheva, Kalina & Gross, Jörg & Celse, Jérémy & Max, Sylvain & Shalvi, Shaul, 2022. "(Dis)honesty in the face of uncertain gains or losses," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    6. Celse, Jérémy & Max, Sylvain & Steinel, Wolfgang & Soraperra, Ivan & Shalvi, Shaul, 2019. "Uncertain lies: How payoff uncertainty affects dishonesty," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 117-125.
    7. Bhattacharya, Haimanti & Dugar, Subhasish, 2022. "Business norm versus norm-nudge as a contract-enforcing mechanism: Evidence from a real marketplace," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    8. Bhattacharya, Haimanti & Dugar, Subhasish, 2023. "Undervaluation versus unaffordability as negotiation tactics: Evidence from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    9. Dannenberg, Astrid & Khachatryan, Elina, 2020. "A comparison of individual and group behavior in a competition with cheating opportunities," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 533-547.
    10. Mitra, Arnab & Shahriar, Quazi, 2020. "Why is dishonesty difficult to mitigate? The interaction between descriptive norm and monetary incentive," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    11. Haimanti Bhattacharya & Subhasish Dugar, 2020. "The Hidden Cost Of Bargaining: Evidence From A Cheating‐Prone Marketplace," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1253-1280, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-serving bias; Uncertainty; Deception; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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