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Truth-telling under Oath

Author

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  • Nicolas Jacquemet

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

  • Stéphane 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)

  • Julie Rosaz

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon, LAMETA - Laboratoire Montpelliérain d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UPVM - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - Montpellier SupAgro - Centre international d'études supérieures en sciences agronomiques - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Montpellier SupAgro - Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement)

  • Jason F. Shogren

    () (Departement of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming - UW - University of Wyoming)

Abstract

Oath taking for senior executives has been promoted as a means to enhance honesty within and toward organizations. Herein we explore whether people who voluntarily sign a solemn truth-telling oath are more committed to sincere behavior when offered the chance to lie. We design an experiment to test how the oath affects truth telling in two contexts: a neutral context replicating the typical experiment in the literature, and a "loaded" context in which we remind subjects that "a lie is a lie." We consider four payoff configurations, with differential monetary incentives to lie, implemented as within-subjects treatment variables. The results are reinforced by robustness investigations in which each subject made only one lying decision. Our results show that the oath reduces lying, especially in the loaded environment—falsehoods are reduced by 50%. The oath, however, has a weaker effect on lying in the neutral environment. The oath did affect decision times in all instances: the average person takes significantly more time deciding whether to lie under oath.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Julie Rosaz & Jason F. Shogren, 2018. "Truth-telling under Oath," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01984653, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-01984653
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01984653
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Julie Rosaz & Jason F. Shogren, 2019. "Truth Telling Under Oath," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 65(1), pages 426-438, January.
    2. Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Jason F. Shogren & Verity Watson, 2019. "Discrete Choice under Oaths," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 19007, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    3. Vranceanu, Radu & Dubart, Delphine, 2019. "Deceitful communication in a sender-receiver experiment: Does everyone have a price?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 43-52.
    4. Jacquemet, N. & Luchini, S. & Malézieux, A. & Shogren, J.F., 2020. "Who’ll stop lying under oath? Empirical evidence from tax evasion games," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 124(C).
    5. Thunström, Linda, 2019. "Preferences for fairness over losses," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    6. Niu, Xiaofei & Li, Jianbiao, 2020. "Incentivizing organ donation by swearing an oath: The role of signature and ritual," EconStor Preprints 203243, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & James Murphy & Jason F. Shogren, 2019. "Lying and Shirking Under Oath," Working Papers 19-19, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.
      • Nicolas Jacquemet & Alexander James & Stéphane Luchini & James J. Murphy & Jason F. Shogren, 2019. "Lying and Shirking Under Oath," Working Papers 2019-02, University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Economics.
    8. Tobias Beck & Christoph Bühren & Björn Frank & Elina Khachatryan, 2020. "Can Honesty Oaths, Peer Interaction, or Monitoring Mitigate Lying?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 467-484, May.
    9. Koessler, Ann-Kathrin & Page, Lionel & Dulleck, Uwe, 2018. "Public Statements of Good Conduct Promote Pro-Social Behavior," EconStor Preprints 180669, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Laboratory Experiment; Truth-telling oath; Lies; Deception;

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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