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Who Makes a Good Leader? Social Preferences and Leading-by-Example

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Author Info

  • Gächter, Simon

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Nosenzo, Daniele

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Renner, Elke

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

  • Sefton, Martin

    ()
    (University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We examine the effects of social preferences and beliefs about the social preferences of others in a simple leader-follower voluntary contributions game. We find that groups perform best when led by those who are reciprocally oriented. Part of the effect can be explained by a false consensus effect: selfish players tend to think it more likely that they are matched with another selfish player and reciprocators tend to think it more likely that they are matched with another reciprocator. Thus, reciprocators contribute more as leaders partly because they are more optimistic than selfish players about the reciprocal responses of followers. However, even after controlling for beliefs we find that reciprocally-oriented leaders contribute more than selfish leaders. Thus, we conclude that differing leader contributions by differing types of leader must in large part reflect social motivations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3914.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2012, 50 (4), 867–879
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3914

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Related research

Keywords: contribution preferences; leading-by-example; false consensus effect; reciprocity; leadership;

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References

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  1. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "Endogenous Leadership: Selection and Influence," Post-Print halshs-00175064, HAL.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanna d’Adda, 2012. "Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision," ECON - Working Papers 059, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2009. "Preferences and Beliefs in a Sequential Social Dilemma: A Within-Subjects Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 4624, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," TSE Working Papers 13-383, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  4. d'Adda, Giovanna, 2011. "Social Status and Influence: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment on Local Public Good Provision," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 22, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  5. Lisa Bruttel & Gerald Eisenkopf, 2009. "Incentive Compatible Contracts?," TWI Research Paper Series 43, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  6. Luca Corazzini & Sebastian Kube & Michel André Maréchal & Antonio Nicolò, 2009. "Elections and deceptions: an experimental study on the behavioral effects of democracy," IEW - Working Papers 421, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2013.
  7. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," LERNA Working Papers 13.02.389, LERNA, University of Toulouse.

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