Eliciting private information with noise: The case of randomized response

Andreas Blume, Ernest K. Lai, Wooyoung Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Theory suggests that garbling may improve the transmission of private information. A simple garbling procedure, randomized response, has shown promise in the field. We provide the first complete analysis of randomized response as a game and implement it as an experiment. We find in our experiment that randomized response increases truth-telling and, importantly, does so in instances where being truthful adversely affects posterior beliefs. Our theoretical analysis also reveals, however, that randomized response has a plethora of equilibria in addition to truth-telling equilibria. Lab behavior is most consistent with those informative but not truth-telling equilibria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-380
Number of pages25
JournalGames and Economic Behavior
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Communication
  • Garbling
  • Information transmission
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Randomized response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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