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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjaak Hurkens & Navin Kartik, 2006. "(When) Would I Lie To You? Comment on ?Deception: The Role of Consequences?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 664.06, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:664.06
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    1. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
    2. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. 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 1345-1363, December.
    5. Amartya Sen, 1997. "Maximization and the Act of Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(4), pages 745-780, July.
    6. Navin Kartik, 2005. "Information Transmission with Cheap and Almost-Cheap Talk," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000650, www.najecon.org.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Demichelis & Jorgen W. Weibull, 2008. "Language, Meaning, and Games: A Model of Communication, Coordination, and Evolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1292-1311, September.
    2. Rode, Julian, 2007. "Truth and Trust in Communication: An Experimental Study of Behavior under Asymmetric Information," Ratio Working Papers 111, The Ratio Institute.
    3. Santiago Sánchez-Pagés & Marc Vorsatz, 2009. "Enjoy the silence: an experiment on truth-telling," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(2), pages 220-241, June.
    4. Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2009. "Sexual orientation and self-reported lying," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 83-104, March.
    5. Demichelis, Stefano & Weibull, Jörgen, 2006. "Efficiency, communication and honesty," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 645, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2006.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    experimental economics; lying; deception; social preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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