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Experimental evidence on deceitful communication: does everyone have a price ?

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  • Radu Vranceanu

    (ESSEC Business School and THEMA (UMR 8184) - ESSEC Business School - THEMA - Théorie économique, modélisation et applications - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CY - CY Cergy Paris Université)

  • Delphine Dubart

    (ESSEC Business School)

Abstract

This paper introduces a new task to elicit individual aversion to deceiving, defined as the lowest payoff for which an individual agrees to switch from faithful to deceitful communication. The core task is a modified version of the Deception Game as presented in Gneezy (Am. Econ. Rev. 95 (1): 384-395: 2005). Deceitful communication brings about a constant loss for the receiver, and a range of benefits for the sender. A multiple-price-list mechanism is used to determine the senders communication strategy contingent on the various benefits from deception. The results show that 71% of the subjects in the sender role will implement pure or threshold communication strategies. Among them, 40% appear to be process driven, being either "ethical" or "spiteful". The other 60% respond to incentives in line with the fixed cost of lying theory; they will forego faithful communication if the benefit from deceiving the other is large enough. Regression analysis shows that this reservation payoff¤ is independent of the risk aversion and social preferences of the subject; it would thus capture an inner preference for "behaving well".

Suggested Citation

  • Radu Vranceanu & Delphine Dubart, 2019. "Experimental evidence on deceitful communication: does everyone have a price ?," Working Papers hal-01822814, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01822814
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2019.01.005
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://essec.hal.science/hal-01822814v2
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    Cited by:

    1. Angela Sutan & Radu Vranceanu, 2019. "Managerial Behavior in the Lab: Information Disclosure, Decision Process and Leadership Style," Working Papers hal-02291210, HAL.
    2. Besancenot, Damien & Vranceanu, Radu, 2020. "Profession and deception: Experimental evidence on lying behavior among business and medical students," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 175-187.
    3. Kai A. Konrad & Tim Lohse & Sven A. Simon, 2021. "Pecunia non olet: on the self-selection into (dis)honest earning opportunities," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(4), pages 1105-1130, December.
    4. Tobias Beck, 2020. "Lying and Mistrust in the Continuous Deception Game," MAGKS Papers on Economics 202030, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deception; Communication strategy; Cost of lying; Inequality aversion; Multiple price list;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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