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Deceitful communication in a sender-receiver experiment: Does everyone have a price?

Radu Vranceanu () and Delphine Dubart

Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), 2019, vol. 79, issue C, 43-52

Abstract: This paper introduces a new task to elicit individual aversion to deceiving, based on a modified version of the Deception Game as presented in Gneezy (2005). A multiple price list is used to determine the deception premium asked by an individual to switch from faithful to deceitful communication. The results show that, depending on payoffs, 71% of the subjects will switch at most once. Among them, 40% appear to be either “ethical” or “spiteful”. The other 60% respond to incentives in line with the cost of lying theory; they will forego faithful communication if the benefit from deceiving the other is large enough. Regression analysis shows that this deception premium is independent of the risk aversion and social preferences of the subject; it would thus capture an inner preference for behaving well.

Keywords: Deception; Communication strategy; Cost of lying; Inequality aversion; Multiple price list (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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