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Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments

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Author Info

  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

  • Eline van der Heijden

Abstract

Leadership is important for the well-functioning of organizations. We examine the effects of leadership on contributions in public goods experiments. Leadership by example is implemented by letting one group member contribute to the public good before followers do. Such leadership increases contributions in comparison to the standard voluntary contribution mechanism, especially so when it goes along with authority, which we implement by granting the leader ostracism power. Whether leadership is fixed or rotating among group members has no significant influence on contributions. Only a minority of groups succeeds in endogenously installing a leader, even though groups with leaders are much more efficient than groups without a leader.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2004-29.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-29

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References

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  1. Potters, J.J.M. & Sefton, M. & Vesterlund, L., 2003. "After You - Endogenous Sequencing in Voluntary Contribution Games," Discussion Paper 2003-98, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Moxnes, E. & Heijden, E.C.M. van der, 2000. "The Effect of Leadership in a Public Bad Experiment," Discussion Paper 2000-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Benjamin E. Hermalin, 1997. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," Microeconomics 9612002, EconWPA.
  4. Kirchsteiger, G. & Niederle, M. & Potters, J.J.M., 2005. "Endogenizing market institutions: An experimental approach," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-171357, Tilburg University.
  5. Noussair, C.N. & Masclet, D. & Tucker, S. & Villeval, M..C, 2003. "Monetary and non-monetary punishment in the voluntary contributions mechanism," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-377951, Tilburg University.
  6. Weimann, Joachim, 1994. "Individual behaviour in a free riding experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 185-200, June.
  7. Hermalin, Benjamin E., 2007. "Leading for the long term," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-19, January.
  8. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Simon Gaechter, . "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," IEW - Working Papers 010, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Martin Sefton & Robert S. Shupp & James Walker, 2005. "The Effect of Rewards and Sanctions in Provision of Public Goods," Working Papers 200504, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2005.
  11. Arce M, Daniel G, 2001. "Leadership and the Aggregation of International Collective Action," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 114-37, January.
  12. Palfrey, Thomas R & Prisbrey, Jeffrey E, 1997. "Anomalous Behavior in Public Goods Experiments: How Much and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 829-46, December.
  13. Martin Brown & Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr, 2004. "Relational Contracts and the Nature of Market Interactions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(3), pages 747-780, 05.
  14. R. Isaac & James Walker & Susan Thomas, 1984. "Divergent evidence on free riding: An experimental examination of possible explanations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 113-149, January.
  15. Maria Vittoria Levati & Tibor Neugebauer, 2001. "An Application of the English Clock Market Mechanism to Public Goods Games," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2001-04, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  16. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  17. Brandts, Jordi & Schram, Arthur, 2001. "Cooperation and noise in public goods experiments: applying the contribution function approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 399-427, February.
  18. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  19. Foss, Nicolai J, 2001. "Leadership, Beliefs and Coordination: An Explorative Discussion," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 357-88, June.
  20. Axel Ockenfels & Gary E. Bolton, 2000. "ERC: A Theory of Equity, Reciprocity, and Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 166-193, March.
  21. Nicholas Bardsley, 2000. "Control Without Deception: Individual Behaviour in Free-Riding Experiments Revisited," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 215-240, December.
  22. Sugden, Robert, 1984. "Reciprocity: The Supply of Public Goods through Voluntary Contributions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 772-87, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gächter, 2005. "Heterogeneous social preferences and the dynamics of free riding in public goods," IEW - Working Papers 261, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Moxnes, E. & Heijden, E.C.M. van der, 2000. "The Effect of Leadership in a Public Bad Experiment," Discussion Paper 2000-102, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  3. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2006. "Experiments in Environmental Economics and Some Close Relatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 419-457, 07.
  4. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  5. Paul Muller, 2006. "Reputation, trust and the dynamics of leadership in communities of practice," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 381-400, November.
  6. Torun Dewan & David P. Myatt, 2007. "The Qualities of Leadership:Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 24, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
  8. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2004. "Unilateral Emissions Abatement: An Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1152, CESifo Group Munich.

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