Lying About What You Know or About What You Do?

TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2011-055

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-139

41 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2010 Last revised: 14 Dec 2011

Marta Serra-Garcia

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Eric van Damme

TILEC and CentER, Tilburg University

Johannes (Jan) J. M. Potters

Tilburg University - CentER

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 14, 2011

Abstract

We compare communication about private information to communication about actions in a one-shot 2-person public good game with private information.The informed player, who knows the exact return from contributing and whose contribution is unobserved, can send a message about the return or her contribution. Theoretically, messages can elicit the uninformed player's contribution, and allow the informed player to free-ride.The exact language used is not expected to matter. Experimentally, however, we find that free-riding depends on the language: the informed player free-rides less, and thereby lies less frequently, when she talks about her contribution than when she talks about the return. Further experimental evidence indicates that it is the promise component in messages about the contribution that leads to less free-riding and less lying.

Keywords: Information transmission, lying, communication, experiment

JEL Classification: C72, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Serra-Garcia, Marta and van Damme, Eric and Potters, Johannes (Jan) J. M., Lying About What You Know or About What You Do? (December 14, 2011). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2011-139. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1579969 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1579969

Marta Serra-Garcia (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Eric E.C. Van Damme

TILEC and CentER, Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 3045 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3066 (Fax)

Johannes (Jan) J. M. Potters

Tilburg University - CentER ( email )

Department of Economics
P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+31 13 466 8204 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

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