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Leading by Example to Protect the Environment; Do the Costs of Leading Matter?

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  • Heijden, E.C.M. van der
  • Moxnes, E.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

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    Abstract

    Environmentalists often urge their home countries to take a leading role in reducing global environmental problems like climate change. A pertinent question is: will examples set by leading nations influence others to follow suit, and if so, do the costs of leading matter? For instance, will costly domestic reductions have a stronger effect on followers than purchases of cheap emission permits abroad? To investigate these questions we have conducted two treatments in a public bad experiment in which leaders have different costs of leading. Our findings suggest that higher costs of leading lead to stronger effects of a given leader example. Randomly chosen leaders lead by example and set better examples if it is less costly to do so. Finally, there seems to be a limit to the leader effect and it may decrease over time.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2011-043.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2011043

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    Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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    Keywords: experiment; leadership; public bad; climate change;

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    1. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00178474 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Jana Vyrastekova & Daan van Soest, 2003. "Centralized Common-Pool Management and Local Community Participation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(4), pages 500-514.
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    7. Potters, J.J.M. & Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L., 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: An experimental study," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-302954, Tilburg University.
    8. Gary E. Bolton & Rami Zwick & Elena Katok, 1998. "Dictator game giving: Rules of fairness versus acts of kindness," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 269-299.
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