On Customer (Dis)honesty in Priority Queues: The Role of Lying Aversion

Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics

We study priority queueing systems where customers may misreport their private information in order to shorten their expected waiting times. For example, such systems arise in healthcare settings where patients may exaggerate their own symptoms in order to be seen faster. We design a controlled experiment where we find that customers are delay sensitive and that they incur psychological costs when they misreport their private information. Motivated by this experimental evidence, we consider a queueing model with delay-sensitive and cheating-sensitive customers. We investigate the optimal scheduling policy and find that it deviates from the celebrated cμ rule.