Lying for others: the impact of agency on misreporting

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    We extend the experimental design by Fischbacher and Föllmi-Heusi (2013) to examine lying behavior on behalf of others, eliminating all possible incentives apart from social preferences. We compare the prevalence of misreporting in situations where the monetary gain either goes to the decision-maker or to an anonymous other participant. Overall we observe lower levels of lying for others compared to for oneself, however, a significant number of participants were willing to lie to increase another participant’s payoff, with no economic incentive to do so. We find no partial lying for others but rather two extremes: either complete honesty or maximal lying.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number109677
    Number of pages4
    JournalEconomics Letters
    Early online date27 Nov 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


    • lying aversion
    • decision making for others
    • prosocial lying
    • experiment


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