Determinants and malleability of truth-telling preferences
- Date: Jan 23, 2019
- Time: 05:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
- Speaker: Johannes Abeler
- University of Oxford
- Location: MPI
- Room: Ground Floor
Situations of private information are ubiquitous. A recent experimental literature has challenged the usual economic assumption that people always report whatever maximizes their material payoff. Instead, many people seem to have preferences for truth-telling, and thus only lie a little or not at all. In this paper, we investigate what determines these preferences and how malleable they are. We measure preferences for truth-telling in a sample of children using the Fischbacher-Föllmi-Heusi paradigm. We first document several correlations between a child’s reporting behaviour and their parents’ characteristics. We then demonstrate that it is possible to change preferences for truth-telling. We randomly assign children to a year-long mentoring program. We find that, almost four years after the end of the mentoring program, mentored children lie significantly less.