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Lying to appear honest

Kai Barron

Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change from WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Abstract: This paper studies individual truth-telling behavior in the presence of multiple lying opportunities with heterogeneous stake sizes. The results show that individuals lie downwards (i.e. forgo money due to their lie) in low-stakes situations in order to signal honesty, and thereby mitigate the image repercussions of upward lying in high-stakes contexts. This constitutes first evidence of systematic downward lying in an unobserved lying game. The observed behavior is consistent with the spirit, but not the letter, of the prominent models of lying behavior. It therefore presents a challenge for these models.

Keywords: private information; honesty; truth-telling; lying; image; reputation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D83 H26 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-exp
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:wzbeoc:spii2019307

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