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Leadership and incentives

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Author Info

  • Cappelen, Alexander W.

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Reme, Bjørn-Atle

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Tungodden, Bertil

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

We study whether compensating people who volunteer to be leaders in a public goods game creates a social crowding-out effect of moral motivation among the others in the group. We report from an experiment with four treatments, where the base treatment is a standard public goods game with simultaneous contribution decisions, while the three other treatments allowed participants to volunteer to be an “early contributor” in their group. In the three leader treatments, we manipulate the level of compensation given to the leader. Our main finding is that a moderate compensation to the leader is highly beneficial, it increases the average contribution by almost 80%. A high compensation, however, is detrimental to public good provision. We show that paying a moderate compensation to the leaders strikes the right balance between the need for recruiting leaders and avoiding a large social crowding-out effect. We argue that the main findings of the paper are important in many real life settings where we would like to use economic incentives to encourage people to lead by example.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics in its series Discussion Paper Series in Economics with number 10/2013.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: 12 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2013_010

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Postal: NHH, Department of Economics, Helleveien 30, N-5045 Bergen, Norway
Phone: +47 55 959 277
Fax: 5595 9100
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Web page: http://www.nhh.no/sam/
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Keywords: Voluntariness; Group behavior; Public goods; Laoratory.;

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  1. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism And Leading-By-Example," Discussion Papers 2009-19, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  3. Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thöni, 2010. "Culture and Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3070, CESifo Group Munich.
    • Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni, 2010. "Culture and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2010-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    • Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni, 2010. "Culture and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2010-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Arbak, Emrah & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2007. "Endogenous Leadership: Selection and Influence," IZA Discussion Papers 2732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough Or Don'T Pay At All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
  8. Frey, Bruno S & Oberholzer-Gee, Felix, 1997. "The Cost of Price Incentives: An Empirical Analysis of Motivation Crowding-Out," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 746-55, September.
  9. Lester M. Salamon & S. Wojciech Sokolowski & Megan A. Haddock, 2011. "Measuring The Economic Value Of Volunteer Work Globally: Concepts, Estimates, And A Roadmap To The Future," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(3), pages 217-252, 09.
  10. M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2007. "Leading by Example in a Public Goods Experiment with Heterogeneity and Incomplete Information," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(5), pages 793-818, October.
  11. Rivas, M. Fernanda & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "The benefits of voluntary leadership in experimental public goods games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 176-178, August.
  12. Haigner, Stefan D. & Wakolbinger, Florian, 2010. "To lead or not to lead: Endogenous sequencing in public goods games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 93-95, July.
  13. Uri Gneezy & Stephan Meier & Pedro Rey-Biel, 2011. "When and Why Incentives (Don't) Work to Modify Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(4), pages 191-210, Fall.
  14. Jan Potters & Martin Sefton & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 169-182, October.
  15. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2009. "Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-607, August.
  16. Andreas Glöckner & Bernd Irlenbusch & Sebastian Kube & Andreas Nicklisch & Hans‐Theo Normann, 2011. "Leading With(Out) Sacrifice? A Public‐Goods Experiment With A Privileged Player," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 591-597, 04.
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