Perhaps you are thinking of mechanism design.
In the field of mechanism design, agents have private information about their motivations and preferences. They make reports to a central authority, who then must take an action: who gets a good, which firm gets the contract, and so on.
In many scenarios, agents will not be honest. If you and I are haggling, I will under-report my value to push the price down, and you will overstate your cost to push the price up. This results in inefficiency, since sometimes we fail to trade when it would have been socially optimal, if all the information were known. This leads to informational rents, where some agents do better simply because they have information unknown to other agents, but this benefit comes at a cost to social welfare.
Look up people like Myerson, Harsanyi, Alvin Roth, Mirlees, Spence, Akerlof, etc. There have been a ton of Nobel prizes for work in this field.