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Preferences for Truth-Telling

Johannes Abeler, Daniele Nosenzo and Collin Raymond

No 6087, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: Private information is at the heart of many economic activities. For decades, economists have assumed that individuals are willing to misreport private information if this maximizes their material payoff. We combine data from 90 experimental studies in economics, psychology and sociology, and show that, in fact, people lie surprisingly little. We then formalize a wide range of potential explanations for the observed behavior, identify testable predictions that can distinguish between the models and conduct new experiments to do so. Our empirical evidence suggests that a preference for being seen as honest and a preference for being honest are the main motivations for truth-telling.

Keywords: private information; honesty; truth-telling; lying; meta study (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D82 H26 I13 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Journal Article: Preferences for Truth‐Telling (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Preferences for Truth-Telling (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Preferences for truth-telling (2016) Downloads
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