Perjury versus Truth-Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony

Emons, Winand (September 2001). Perjury versus Truth-Revelation: Quantity or Quality of Testimony (Diskussionsschriften 01-03). Bern: Universität Bern Volkswirtschaftliches Institut

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In trials witnesses often slant their testimony to advance their interests. To obtain truthful testimony, courts rely on perjury rules. We show that perjury rules are not truth-revealing and we derive a truth-revealing mechanism for the same set of restrictions under which perjury rules operate. If the judge uses a truth-revealing mechanism, he will get less testimony than under perjury because the defendant will not present a witness with unfavorable news; however, testimony is of higher quality. We show that a court striving for precision prefers truth-revelation to perjury. If the court is rational in the Bayesian sense, chances for the defendant to prevail are the same under perjury and truth-revelation from an ex ante point of view. Truth-revelation thus dominates perjury even when the lower quantity
of testimony is taken into account.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Economics > Institute of Economics > Economic Theory

UniBE Contributor:

Emons, Winand

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Series:

Diskussionsschriften

Publisher:

Universität Bern Volkswirtschaftliches Institut

Language:

English

Submitter:

Aline Lehnherr

Date Deposited:

15 Apr 2020 11:52

Last Modified:

06 Aug 2020 14:18

JEL Classification:

D82, K41, K42

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.142428

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/142428

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