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Lying and Reciprocity

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  • Simon Dato
  • Eberhard Feess
  • Petra Nieken

Abstract

Recent literature has shown that lying behavior in the laboratory can well be explained by a combination of lying costs and reputation concerns. We extend the literature on lying behavior to strategic interactions. As reciprocal behavior is important in many interactions, we study a theoretical model on reciprocity where a player's altruism depends on her perception of the other player’s altruism towards herself. We analyze a sequential two-player contest and vary the second mover’s information on the first movers lying behavior. This allows us to derive predictions on the second mover’s behavior which we test empirically in a large scale online experiment and in the laboratory. In both experiments, the second mover’s lying propensity does not depend on whether the first mover has (possibly) lied or not. This robust behavioral pattern provides strong evidence that reciprocity does not play a role for lying behavior in our setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Dato & Eberhard Feess & Petra Nieken, 2018. "Lying and Reciprocity," CESifo Working Paper Series 7368, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7368
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    Cited by:

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    2. Simon Dato & Eberhard Feess & Petra Nieken, 2022. "Lying in Competitive Environments: A Clean Identification of Behavioral Impacts," CESifo Working Paper Series 9861, CESifo.
    3. Battiston, Pietro & Gamba, Simona & Rizzolli, Matteo & Rotondi, Valentina, 2021. "Lies have long legs cheating, peer scrutiny and loyalty in teams," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    4. Necker, Sarah & Paetzel, Fabian, 2023. "The effect of losing and winning on cheating and effort in repeated competitions," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).
    5. Di Cagno, Daniela & Güth, Werner & Lohse, Tim & Marazzi, Francesca & Spadoni, Lorenzo, 2024. "Who cares when Value (Mis)reporting may be found out? An Acquiring-a-Company experiment with value messages and information leaks," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    6. Eberhard Feess & Florian Kerzenmacher & Gerd Muehlheusser, 2020. "Moral Transgressions by Groups: What Drives Individual Voting Behavior?," CESifo Working Paper Series 8384, CESifo.
    7. Feess, Eberhard & Kerzenmacher, Florian & Timofeyev, Yuriy, 2022. "Utilitarian or deontological models of moral behavior—What predicts morally questionable decisions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    private information; lying; reciprocity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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