IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_9286.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Deceptive Communication: Direct Lies vs. Ignorance, Partial-Truth and Silence

Author

Listed:
  • Despoina Alempaki
  • Valeria Burdea
  • Daniel Read

Abstract

In cases of conflict of interest, people can lie directly about payoff relevant private information, or they can evade the truth without lying directly. We analyse this situation theoretically and test the key behavioural predictions due to differences in psychological costs in a novel experimental sender-receiver setting. We find senders prefer to deceive through evasion rather than direct lying, more so when evasion takes the form of partial-truth. This is because they do nοt want to deceive others, and they do nοt want to be seen as deceptive. Receivers are highly sensitive to the language used to deceive and are more likely to act in the sender’s favour when the sender lies directly. Our findings suggest dishonesty is more prevalent and potentially costlier than its previous best estimates focusing on direct lies.

Suggested Citation

  • Despoina Alempaki & Valeria Burdea & Daniel Read, 2021. "Deceptive Communication: Direct Lies vs. Ignorance, Partial-Truth and Silence," CESifo Working Paper Series 9286, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9286
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp9286_1.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chloe Tergiman & Marie Claire Villeval, 2023. "The Way People Lie in Markets: Detectable vs. Deniable Lies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 69(6), pages 3340-3357, June.
    2. Erlend E. Bø & Joel Slemrod & Thor O. Thoresen, 2015. "Taxes on the Internet: Deterrence Effects of Public Disclosure," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 36-62, February.
    3. Dye, Ra, 1985. "Disclosure Of Nonproprietary Information," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 123-145.
    4. Leibbrandt, Andreas & Maitra, Pushkar & Neelim, Ananta, 2018. "Large stakes and little honesty? Experimental evidence from a developing country," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 76-79.
    5. Urs Fischbacher & Franziska Föllmi-Heusi, 2013. "Lies In Disguise—An Experimental Study On Cheating," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 525-547, June.
    6. Kiryl Khalmetski & Dirk Sliwka, 2019. "Disguising Lies—Image Concerns and Partial Lying in Cheating Games," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 79-110, November.
    7. 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.
    8. Jean Tirole & Roland Bénabou, 2006. "Incentives and Prosocial Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1652-1678, December.
    9. Gneezy, Uri & Kajackaite, Agne & Sobel, Joel, 2017. "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt28n3d40j, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    10. Mark Egan & Gregor Matvos & Amit Seru, 2019. "The Market for Financial Adviser Misconduct," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 233-295.
    11. Dufwenberg, Martin & Dufwenberg, Martin A., 2018. "Lies in disguise – A theoretical analysis of cheating," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 248-264.
    12. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
    13. Jung, Wo & Kwon, Yk, 1988. "Disclosure When The Market Is Unsure Of Information Endowment Of Managers," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 146-153.
    14. Marvin Deversi & Alessandro Ispano & Peter Schwardmann, 2018. "Spin Doctors: A Model and an Experimental Investigation of Vague Disclosure," CESifo Working Paper Series 7244, CESifo.
    15. Navin Kartik, 2009. "Strategic Communication with Lying Costs," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 76(4), pages 1359-1395.
    16. Serra-Garcia, Marta & van Damme, Eric & Potters, Jan, 2011. "Hiding an inconvenient truth: Lies and vagueness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 244-261, September.
    17. McDaniel, Tanga & Starmer, Chris, 1998. "Experimental economics and deception: A comment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 403-409, June.
    18. Uyanga Turmunkh & Martijn J. van den Assem & Dennie van Dolder, 2019. "Malleable Lies: Communication and Cooperation in a High Stakes TV Game Show," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(10), pages 4795-4812, October.
    19. Khalmetski, Kiryl & Rockenbach, Bettina & Werner, Peter, 2017. "Evasive lying in strategic communication," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 59-72.
    20. Eti Einhorn & Amir Ziv, 2008. "Intertemporal Dynamics of Corporate Voluntary Disclosures," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 567-589, June.
    21. Krawczyk, Michał, 2019. "What should be regarded as deception in experimental economics? Evidence from a survey of researchers and subjects," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 110-118.
    22. Tore Ellingsen & Magnus Johannesson, 2008. "Pride and Prejudice: The Human Side of Incentive Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 990-1008, June.
    23. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
    24. Bucciol, Alessandro & Piovesan, Marco, 2011. "Luck or cheating? A field experiment on honesty with children," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 73-78, February.
    25. Umit G Gurun & Noah Stoffman & Scott E Yonker, 2018. "Trust Busting: The Effect of Fraud on Investor Behavior," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 1341-1376.
    26. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1994. "A Theory of Conformity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 841-877, October.
    27. Uri Gneezy & Agne Kajackaite & Joel Sobel, 2018. "Lying Aversion and the Size of the Lie," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 419-453, February.
    28. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-1451, November.
    29. Joel Sobel, 2020. "Lying and Deception in Games," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(3), pages 907-947.
    30. Chloe Tergiman & Marie Claire Villeval, 2021. "The Way People Lie in Markets: Detectable vs. Deniable Lies," Working Papers 2120, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    31. Hey, John D., 1998. "Experimental economics and deception: A comment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 397-401, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Despoina Alempaki & Valeria Burdea & Daniel Read, 2023. "Deceptive Communication: Direct Lies vs. Ignorance, Partial-Truth and Silence," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 444, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    2. Chloe Tergiman & Marie Claire Villeval, 2023. "The Way People Lie in Markets: Detectable vs. Deniable Lies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 69(6), pages 3340-3357, June.
    3. Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "Comportements (non) éthiques et stratégies morales," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 70(6), pages 1021-1046.
    4. Khalmetski, Kiryl, 2019. "Evasion of guilt in expert advice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 296-310.
    5. Khalmetski, Kiryl & Rockenbach, Bettina & Werner, Peter, 2017. "Evasive lying in strategic communication," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 59-72.
    6. Chloe Tergiman & Marie Claire Villeval, 2019. "The Way People Lie in Markets," Working Papers halshs-02292040, HAL.
    7. Sun, Keh-Kuan & Papadokonstantaki, Stella, 2023. "Lying aversion and vague communication: An experimental study," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
    8. Lafky, Jonathan & Lai, Ernest K. & Lim, Wooyoung, 2022. "Preferences vs. strategic thinking: An investigation of the causes of overcommunication," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 92-116.
    9. Lang, Matthias & Schudy, Simeon, 2023. "(Dis)honesty and the value of transparency for campaign promises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 159(C).
    10. 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.
    11. Nguyen, Anh & Tan, Teck Yong, 2021. "Bayesian persuasion with costly messages," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    12. Dufwenberg, Martin & Dufwenberg, Martin A., 2018. "Lies in disguise – A theoretical analysis of cheating," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 248-264.
    13. Dugar, Subhasish & Shahriar, Quazi, 2023. "Lying for votes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 46-72.
    14. Mark T. Le Quement & Amrish Patel, 2018. "Communication as Gift-Exchange," University of East Anglia School of Economics Working Paper Series 2018-06, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    15. Bašić, Zvonimir & Quercia, Simone, 2022. "The influence of self and social image concerns on lying," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 162-169.
    16. Fries, Tilman & Gneezy, Uri & Kajackaite, Agne & Parra, Daniel, 2021. "Observability and lying," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 132-149.
    17. Daniel H. Wood, 2022. "Communication-Enhancing Vagueness," Games, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-27, June.
    18. Johannes Abeler & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2021. "Malleability of Preferences for Honesty," CESifo Working Paper Series 9033, CESifo.
    19. Alain Cohn & Tobias Gesche & Michel André Maréchal, 2022. "Honesty in the Digital Age," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 68(2), pages 827-845, February.
    20. Huber, Christoph & Huber, Jürgen, 2020. "Bad bankers no more? Truth-telling and (dis)honesty in the finance industry," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 472-493.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9286. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.