Promoting Truthful Communication Through Ex-Post Disclosure

28 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2015 Last revised: 2 Dec 2015

See all articles by Adam Eric Greenberg

Adam Eric Greenberg

Bocconi University - Department of Marketing

Paul Smeets

Maastricht University

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Duisburg-Essen

Date Written: November 30, 2015

Abstract

An extensive literature documents that providing the right incentives can reduce deception. We hypothesize that truthful communication can be promoted by the threat of ex-post disclosure, even in the absence of financial consequences. Our experiment identifies the effect of ex-post disclosure using a sender-receiver game in which the receiver can detect a dishonest message in one condition, but not in another. The advantages of a laboratory experiment are that it rules out reputational concerns by providing full anonymity and holds constant information availability. We find that ex-post disclosure almost doubles the incidence of truth-telling. Interestingly, the effect of ex-post disclosure on truthful communication is present for males, but not for females.

Keywords: disclosure, communication, experimental economics, deception

JEL Classification: C9, D8

Suggested Citation

Greenberg, Adam Eric and Smeets, Paul and Zhurakhovska, Lilia, Promoting Truthful Communication Through Ex-Post Disclosure (November 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544349 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2544349

Adam Eric Greenberg (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Marketing

Via Roentgen, 1 (4th floor)
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Paul Smeets

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands
+31433883643 (Phone)

Lilia Zhurakhovska

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Duisburg-Essen ( email )

Lotharstrasse 1
Duisburg, 47048
Germany

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