Lying about what you know or about what you do?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
325 Downloads (Pure)


We compare communication about private information to communication about actions in a one-shot 2-person public good game with private information. The informed player, who knows the exact return from contributing and whose contribution is unobserved, can send a message about the return or her contribution. Theoretically, messages can elicit the uninformed player’s contribution, and allow the informed player to free-ride. The exact language used is not expected to matter. Experimentally, however, we find that free-ride depends on the language: the informed player free-rides less—and thereby lies less frequently—when she talks about her contribution than when she talks about the return. Further experimental evidence indicates that it is the promise component in messages about the contribution that leads to less free-ride and less lying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1204-1229
JournalJournal of the European Economic Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Lying about what you know or about what you do?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this