Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 83–104

Sexual orientation and self-reported lying



This paper examines empirical links between sexual orientation and self-reported lying using data collected in several waves of Georgia Institute of Technology’s World Wide Web Users Survey. The data include questions about sexual orientation, lying in cyberspace, and a broad range of demographic information. According to the theoretical framework of Gneezy (Am Econ Rev 95: 384–395, 2005) on the economics of deception, individuals conceal or falsify information when the expected benefit of lying exceeds its costs in terms of psychic disutility. If non-heterosexuals expect to benefit more by falsifying information, then this theory predicts higher rates of lying among non-heterosexuals. The data show that gays and lesbians do indeed report lying more often than heterosexuals, both unconditionally in bivariate correlations and after controlling for demographic and geographic differences. These empirical results are consistent with the conclusion that non-heterosexuals expect higher benefits from concealing personal information because of anti-homosexual discrimination.


Deception Sexual orientation Gay Misreporting Non-response 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economic, Political, and Policy SciencesUniversity of Texas-DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Texas-San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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