Do Individuals Put Effort into Lying? Evidence from a Compliance Experiment

24 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2016

See all articles by Nadja Dwenger

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Tim Lohse

Berlin School of Economics and Law; Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Date Written: March 10, 2016

Abstract

We study whether individuals in a face-to-face situation can successfully exert some lying effort to delude others. We exploit data from a laboratory experiment in which participants were asked to assess videotaped statements as being rather truthful or untruthful. The statements are face-to-face tax declarations. The video clips feature each subject twice making the same declaration. But one time the subject is reporting truthfully, the other time willingly untruthfully. This allows us to investigate within-subject differences in trustworthiness. We find that a subject is perceived as more trustworthy if she deceives than if she reports truthfully. It is particularly individuals with dishonest appearance who manage to increase their perceived trustworthiness by up to 15 percent. This is evidence of individuals successfully exerting lying effort.

Keywords: lying effort, face-to-face communication, perceived trustworthiness, lie detection, compliance

JEL Classification: C910, H310, K420, H260

Suggested Citation

Dwenger, Nadja and Lohse, Tim, Do Individuals Put Effort into Lying? Evidence from a Compliance Experiment (March 10, 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5805, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2764121

Nadja Dwenger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

10117
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/public_economics/public_economics_people/dwenger_nadja.cfm

Tim Lohse (Contact Author)

Berlin School of Economics and Law ( email )

Badensche Strasse 50-51
Berlin, D-10825
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.hwr-berlin.de/en/prof/tim-lohse

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/public_economics/research_affiliates/tim_lohse.cfm

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