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(When) Would I Lie To You? Comment on ?Deception: The Role of Consequences?

This paper reconsiders the evidence on lying or deception presented in Gneezy (2005,American Economic Review). We argue that Gneezy?s data cannot reject the hip?esis that people are one of two kinds: either a person will never lie, or a person will lie whenever she prefers the outcome obtained by lying over the outcome obtained by telling the truth. This implies that so long as lying induces a preferred outcome over truth-telling, a person?s decisi? of whether to lie may be completely insensitive to other changes in the induced outcomes, such as exactly how much she monetarily gains relative to how much she hurts an anonymous partner. We run new but similar experiments to those of Gneezy in order to test this hypothesis. We find that our data cannot reject this hypothesis either, but we also discover substantial differences in behavior between our sub jects and Gneezy?s sub jects.

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Paper provided by Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) in its series UFAE and IAE Working Papers with number 664.06.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 02 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:664.06
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  1. 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.
  2. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  3. Navin Kartik, 2005. "Information Transmission with Cheap and Almost-Cheap Talk," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000650, www.najecon.org.
  4. James Andreoni & John Miller, 2002. "Giving According to GARP: An Experimental Test of the Consistency of Preferences for Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 737-753, March.
  5. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
  6. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, . "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," IEW - Working Papers 004, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
  8. Lacker, Jeffrey M & Weinberg, John A, 1989. "Optimal Contracts under Costly State Falsification," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1345-63, December.
  9. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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