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Leadership in a Weak-Link Game

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  • Joris Gillet
  • Edward Cartwright

    ()

  • Mark Van Vugt

Abstract

We investigate, experimentally, the effects of leadership in a four player weak-link game. A weak-link game is a coordination game with multiple Pareto-ranked Nash equilibria. Because the more efficient equilibria involve a degree of strategic uncertainty groups typically find it difficult to coordinate on more efficient equilibria. Previous studies have shown that leadership by example - in the form of one player acting publicly before the rest of the group - can lead to increased cooperation in collective action problems and we are interested in finding out whether this result extends to weak-link games. Our results suggest that leadership has no effect on initial behavior; the first time that they play the game participants behave the same with leadership as without. We also observe, however, that leadership can allow groups to raise efficiency over time and therefore overcome inefficiency. There doesn't appear to be a difference between voluntary leaders and leaders that are (randomly) appointed.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.ukc.ac.uk/pub/ejr/RePEc/ukc/ukcedp/0914.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Kent in its series Studies in Economics with number 0914.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0914

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NP
Phone: +44 (0)1227 764000
Fax: +44 (0)1227 827850
Web page: http://www.ukc.ac.uk/economics/

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Keywords: Leadership; coordination game; weak-link game; minimum-effort game;

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