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Size matters - when it comes to lies

Author

Listed:
  • Gerald Eisenkopf
  • Ruslan Gurtoviy
  • Verena Utikal

Abstract

A small lie appears trivial but it obviously violates moral commandments. We analyze whether the preference for others� truth telling is absolute or depends on the size of a lie. In a laboratory experiment we compare punishment for different sizes of lies controlling for the resulting economic harm. We find that people are sensitive to the size of a lie and that this behavioral pattern is driven by honest people. People who lie themselves punish softly in any context.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerald Eisenkopf & Ruslan Gurtoviy & Verena Utikal, 2011. "Size matters - when it comes to lies," TWI Research Paper Series 66, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:twi:respas:0066
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How should I lie?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-07-08 19:54:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria & Vlassopoulos, Michael, 2013. "Cheating in the workplace: An experimental study of the impact of bonuses and productivity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 120-134.
    2. Djawadi, Behnud Mir & Fahr, René, 2015. "“…and they are really lying”: Clean evidence on the pervasiveness of cheating in professional contexts from a field experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 48-59.
    3. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you do? (replaces TILEC DP 2010-016)," Discussion Paper 2011-055, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    4. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2011. "Lying About What you Know or About What you Do? (replaces CentER DP 2010-033)," Discussion Paper 2011-139, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Serra Garcia, M. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Potters, J.J.M., 2010. "Which Words Bond? An Experiment on Signaling in a Public Good Game (replaced by TILEC DP 2011-055)," Discussion Paper 2010-016, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    6. Reuben, Ernesto & Stephenson, Matthew, 2012. "Nobody Likes a Rat: On the Willingness and Consequences of Reporting Lies," IZA Discussion Papers 6998, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Serdarevic, Nina, 2021. "Licence to lie and the social (In)appropriateness of lying," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 199(C).
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    9. Feicht, Robert & Grimm, Veronika & Seebauer, Michael, 2016. "An experimental study of corporate social responsibility through charitable giving in Bertrand markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 88-101.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lying; norm violation; punishment; experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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