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Games 2016, 7(4), 29; doi:10.3390/g7040029

What Goes Around, Comes Around: Experimental Evidence on Exposed Lies

1
Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger, Kundmanngasse 21, Postfach 600, 1031 Wien, Austria
2
Center for Economic Policy Research, HTW Chur, and DFG Research Group “Needs Based Justice and Distributive Procedures” (FOR 2104), Comercialstrasse 20, 7000 Chur, Switzerland
3
Institute of Political Science, University of Hamburg, and DFG Research Group “Needs Based Justice and Distributive Procedures” (FOR 2104), Allendeplatz 1, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ulrich Berger
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 23 September 2016 / Accepted: 12 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [301 KB, uploaded 20 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

We experimentally investigate the optimal way to handle the uncovering of a noble lie, that is, a lie that supposedly is in the best interest of a given community. For this purpose, we analyze a public good game with feedback to group members on the average contributions of the other group members. The computer program inflates the feedback and shows higher than real average contributions to the high contributors. As shown by earlier studies, the partial feedback inflation increases the total payoff of the public good as it avoids the feeling of being a sucker for above average contributors. The lie is then uncovered and we continue with different feedback modes on contributions, some inflated, some true. We find that players respond similarly to both feedback modes. However, with true feedback, initial contributions in the second stage are significantly higher than with inflated feedback. View Full-Text
Keywords: feedback inflation; public goods provision; noble lie; truth feedback inflation; public goods provision; noble lie; truth
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mörtenhuber, S.; Nicklisch, A.; Schnapp, K.-U. What Goes Around, Comes Around: Experimental Evidence on Exposed Lies. Games 2016, 7, 29.

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