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Perjury versus Truth Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony

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  • Winand Emons

Abstract

Witnesses often gain by slanting testimony. Courts try to elicit the truth with perjury rules. Perjury is not truth-revealing; truth revelation is, however, possible. With a truth-revealing mechanism the judge will get little testimony because the defendant will not present witnesses with unfavorable news; yet the testimony is of high quality. Under perjury the court gets a different amount of testimony with lower informational content. A court striving for precision prefers truth revelation to perjury; chances for the defendant to prevail are the same. Truth revelation thus dominates perjury even when the different quantity of testimony is allowed for.

Suggested Citation

  • Winand Emons, 2005. "Perjury versus Truth Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(3), pages 392-392, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200509)161:3_392:pvtrqo_2.0.tx_2-g
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Law and Economics of the Economic Expert Witness," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 91-99, Spring.
    2. Roger B. Myerson, 1983. "Bayesian Equilibrium and Incentive-Compatibility: An Introduction," Discussion Papers 548, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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    5. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2003. "Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(2), pages 259-259, June.
    6. Emons, Winand, 1994. "The provision of environmental protection measures under incomplete information: An introduction to the theory of mechanism design," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 479-491, December.
    7. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
    8. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2004. "Truth-Bonding and Other Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 307-327, May.
    9. Robert Thornton & John Ward, 1999. "The Economist in Tort Litigation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 101-112, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Cooter & Winand Emons, 2004. "Truth-Bonding and Other Truth-Revealing Mechanisms for Courts," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 307-327, May.
    2. Matthew Braham & Friedel Bolle, 2006. "A difficulty with oaths: On trust, trustworthiness, and signalling," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 219-232, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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