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Samuel S. Santos and Marcelo C. Griebeler
''Can fact-checkers discipline the government?''
( 2022, Vol. 42 No.3 )
We study the potential of a fact-checker to deter a government from lying. The government wants to increase its acceptance by announcing that the state of the economy is good. The fact-checker must decide whether to check or not the government's announcement and then send a report to the public. We show that there is no separating equilibrium in which the government always reveals the true state of the economy. Moreover, there exist equilibria in which the government always announces that the state of the economy is good. This happens if the fact-checker has low credibility relative to that of the government. Our findings suggest that actions that discredit fact-checking agencies, such as calling them ``fake news", increase the chances of lying equilibria. If we allow mixed strategies, our analysis shows that, under quite intuitive conditions, the fact-checker can partially discipline the government.
Keywords: Fact-check, Misinformation, Signaling Game, Political Economy.
JEL: D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making: General
C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
Manuscript Received : Dec 13 2021 Manuscript Accepted : Sep 30 2022

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