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Who’ll stop lying under oath? Empirical evidence from tax evasion games

Author

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  • Nicolas Jacquemet

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Stephane Luchini

    (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • A. Malézieux

    (CEREN - Centre de Recherche sur l'ENtreprise [Dijon] - BSB - Burgundy School of Business (BSB) - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Dijon Bourgogne (ESC))

  • Jason F. Shogren

    (UW - University of Wyoming)

Abstract

Using two earned income/tax declaration experimental designs we show that only partial liars are affected by a truth-telling oath, a non-price commitment device. Under oath, we see no change in the number of chronic liars and fewer partial liars. Rather than smoothly increasing their compliance, we also observe that partial liars who respond to the oath, respond by becoming fully honest under oath. Based on both response times data and the consistency of subjects when several compliance decisions are made in a row, we show that partial lying arises as the result of weak preferences towards profitable honesty. The oath only transforms people with weak preferences for lying into being committed to the truth.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Jacquemet & Stephane Luchini & A. Malézieux & Jason F. Shogren, 2020. "Who’ll stop lying under oath? Empirical evidence from tax evasion games," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-02576845, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-02576845
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103369
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://amu.hal.science/hal-02576845v2
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander G James & Stéphane Luchini & James J Murphy & Jason F Shogren, 2021. "Do truth-telling oaths improve honesty in crowd-working?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Miloš Fišar & Tommaso Reggiani & Fabio Sabatini & Jiří Špalek, 2022. "Media negativity bias and tax compliance: experimental evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 29(5), pages 1160-1212, October.
    3. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & J Rosaz & J F Shogren, 2021. "Can we commit future managers to honesty?," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-03277342, HAL.
    4. Antoine Malézieux & Benno Torgler, 2021. "Culture, Immigration and Tax Compliance," CREMA Working Paper Series 2021-23, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Jacquemet, Nicolas & Luchini, Stéphane & Malézieux, Antoine, 2021. "Does voting on tax fund destination imply a direct democracy effect?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    6. James Alm & Antoine Malézieux, 2021. "40 years of tax evasion games: a meta-analysis," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(3), pages 699-750, September.
    7. Vaz, João & Shogren, Jason, 2023. "Cooperation under oath: A case for context-dependent preferences," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 229(C).
    8. Akin, Zafer, 2022. "Playing the victim behavior: an experimental study," MPRA Paper 115532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Beck, Tobias, 2021. "How the honesty oath works: Quick, intuitive truth telling under oath," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    part-time Lying; honesty; oath; commitment; Tax evasion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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