Whom are you talking with ? An experiment on credibility and communication structure

Date: 2014-11-05
By: GRANDJEAN, Gilles (CEREC, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles)
MANTOVANI, Marco (CEREC, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles; DEMS, University of Milan – Bicocca)
MAULEON, Ana (CEREC, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles; Universit√© catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)
VANNETELBOSCH, Vincent (CEREC, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles; Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, Belgium)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cor:louvco:2014042&r=net
The paper analyzes the role of the structure of communication Рi.e. who is talking with whom Рon the choice of messages, on their credibility and on actual play. We run an experiment in a three-player coordination game with Pareto ranked equilibria, where a pair of agents has a profitable joint deviation from the Pareto-dominant equilibrium. According to our analysis of credibility, the subjects should communicate and play the Pareto optimal equilibrium only when communication is public. When pair of agents exchange messages privately, the players should play the Pareto dominated equilibrium and disregard communication. The experimental data conform to our predictions: the agents reach the Pareto-dominant equilibrium only when announcing to play it is credible. When private communication is allowed, lying is prevalent, and players converge to the Pareto-dominated equilibrium. Nevertheless, at the individual level, players’ beliefs and choices tend to react to messages even when these are non-credible.

Size Matters – When it Comes to Lies

Date: 2011-05-17
By: Gerald Eisenkopf (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
Ruslan Gurtoviy (Department of Business Administration, University of Trier, Germany)
Verena Utikal (Department of Economics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany)
URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:knz:dpteco:1114&r=net
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 behavioural pattern is driven by honest people. People who lie themselves punish softly in any context.
Keywords: Lying, norm violation, punishment, experiment
JEL: C91