Lies and Biased Evaluation: A Real-Effort Experiment

44 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2011

See all articles by Julie Rosaz

Julie Rosaz

French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Laboratoire d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée (LAMETA)

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of a laboratory experiment in which workers perform a real-effort task and supervisors report the workers’ performance to the experimenter. The report is non verifiable and determines the earnings of both the supervisor and the worker. We find that not all the supervisors, but at least one third of them bias their report. Both selfish black lies (increasing the supervisor's earnings while decreasing the worker's payoff) and Pareto white lies (increasing the earnings of both) according to Erat and Gneezy (2009)'s terminology are frequent. In contrast, spiteful black lies (decreasing the earnings of both) and altruistic white lies (increasing the earnings of workers but decreasing those of the supervisor) are almost non-existent. The supervisors' second-order beliefs and their decision to lie are highly correlated, suggesting that guilt aversion plays a role.

Keywords: evaluation, lie-aversion, guilt aversion, self-image, deception, lies, experiments

JEL Classification: C91, D82, M52

Suggested Citation

Rosaz, Julie and Villeval, Marie Claire, Lies and Biased Evaluation: A Real-Effort Experiment. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5884. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1906187

Julie Rosaz (Contact Author)

French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Laboratoire d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée (LAMETA) ( email )

France

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
+33 472 86 60 79 (Phone)
+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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