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Voluntary Leadership: Selection and Influence

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Author Info

  • Emrah Arbak

    (CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies - Centre for European Policy Studies)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    ()
    (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure (ENS) - Lyon - PRES Université de Lyon - Université Jean Monnet - Saint-Etienne - Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I)

Abstract

In social dilemmas, leading a team by making heroic efforts may prove costly, especially when the followers are not adequately motivated to make similar sacrifices. Attempting to shed light on what drives people to lead, we devise a two-stage public good experiment with endogenous timing. We show that leading by making generous contributions is widespread and relatively persistent. At least three motives explain this behavior. Some use leadership strategically to distill personal gains, with the expectation that others will respond by being at least as generous. Others are more altruistic, volunteering to lead even though this may come at a personal cost. Yet for another fraction of volunteers, a concern for maintaining a positive social image appears to be responsible. We also find that voluntary leaders are not necessarily more influential than randomly-chosen leaders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00664830.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published, Social Choice and Welfare, 2013, 40, 3, pp. 635-662
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00664830

Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00664830
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Related research

Keywords: leadership; endogenous selection; influence; voluntary contribution; experiment;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Lisa Bruttel & Urs Fischbacher, 2010. "Taking the initiative. What characterizes leaders?," TWI Research Paper Series 61, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.

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