Promoting Truthful Communication Through Ex-Post Disclosure
28 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2015 Last revised: 2 Dec 2015
Date Written: November 30, 2015
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: Suggested Citation