Honesty and Self-Selection into Cheap Talk

Maik T. Schneider, Sebastian Fehrler, Urs Fischbacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In many situations, people can lie strategically, for their own benefit. Since individuals differ with respect to their willingness to lie, the credibility of statements will crucially depend on who self-selects into such cheap-talk situations. We study this process in a two-stage political competition setting. At the entry stage, potential candidates compete in a contest to become their party’s candidate in an election. At the election stage, the nominated candidates campaign by making promises to voters. Confirming the model’s key prediction, we find in our experiment that dishonest people over-proportionally self-select into the political race and thereby lower voters’ welfare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2468-2496
Number of pages9
JournalThe Economic journal
Volume130
Issue number632
Early online date3 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020

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