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Do Individuals Put Effort into Lying? Evidence From a Compliance Experiment

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  • Lohse, Tim
  • Dwenger, Nadja

Abstract

We study whether individuals in a face-to-face situation can successfully exert some lying effort to delude others. We exploit data from a laboratory experiment in which participants were asked to assess videotaped statements as being rather truthful or untruthful. The statements are face-to-face tax declarations which were recorded in an incentivised tax compliance experiment. The video clips to be assessed feature each subject twice making the same declaration. But one time the subject is reporting truthfully, the other time willingly untruthfully. This allows us to investigate within-subject differences in trustworthiness. Drawing on more than 18,000 assessments, we find that a subject is perceived as more trustworthy if she deceives than if she reports truthfully. It is particularily individuals with dishonest appearance who manage to increase their perceived trustworthiness by up to 15 percent. This is evidence of individuals successfully exerting lying effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Lohse, Tim & Dwenger, Nadja, 2016. "Do Individuals Put Effort into Lying? Evidence From a Compliance Experiment," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145616, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2018. "Video Recordings in Experiments – Are There Effects on Self-Selection or the Outcome of the Experiment?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1751, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Tim Lohse & Salmai Qari, 2018. "Video recordings in experiments – Are there effects on self-selection or the outcome of the experiment?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 38(3), pages 1381-1394.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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