Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/223438
Authors: 
Lang, Matthias
Schudy, Simeon Andreas Dermot
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper No. 8366
Abstract: 
Promises are prevalent in many competitive environments, but promise keeping is often difficult to observe. Do promises still offer an opportunity to honor future obligations, if promise keeping is unobservable? Focusing on campaign promises, we study the value of transparency. We show how preferences for truth-telling shape promise competition when promise keeping can(not) be observed. We identify the causal effects of transparency in a laboratory experiment. Transparency leads to less generous promises, but also to less promise breaking. Nonetheless, officials appropriate similar rents as in opaque institutions. Preferences for truth-telling and (instrumental) reputational concerns explain these results.
Subjects: 
prospective voting
retrospective voting
promises
promise breaking
lying costs
preferences for truth-telling
experiment
political economy
JEL: 
C91
C92
D72
D73
D91
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
File
Size





Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.