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Who are the Voluntary Leaders? Experimental Evidence from a Sequential Contribution Game

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  • Raphaële Préget
  • Phu Nguyen-Van
  • Marc Willinger

Abstract

We show that the preference to act as a leader rather than as a follower is related to subjects’ behavioral type. We rely on the methodology proposed by Fischbacher et al. (2001) and Fischbacher and Gächter (2010) in order to identify subjects’ behavioral types. We then link the likelihood to act as a leader in a repeated public goods game to the elicited behavioral types. The leader in a group is defined as the subject who voluntarily decides in the first place about his contribution. The leader’s contribution is then reported publicly to the remaining group members who are requested to take their contribution decisions simultaneously. Our main findings are that leaders emerge in almost all rounds and that conditional cooperators are more likely to act as leaders compared to free riders. We also find that voluntary leaders, irrespective of their behavioral type, contribute more than the followers. However leadership does not prevent the decay that is commonly observed in linear public goods experiments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg in its series Working Papers of BETA with number 2012-21.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ulp:sbbeta:2012-21

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Keywords: Public Goods; Experimental Economics; Voluntary Contribution Mechanism; Leadership.;

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References

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  1. Claudia Curi & Cinzia Daraio & Patrick Llerena, 2012. "University Technology Transfer: How (in-)efficient are French universities?," Working Papers of BETA 2012-02, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  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. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Sequential versus Simultaneous Contributions to Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2602, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Martin G. Kocher & Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Robert J. Netzer & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Working Papers 2007-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  7. 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.
  8. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2006. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-35, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  9. Charles Figuières & David Masclet & Marc Willinger, 2012. "Vanishing Leadership And Declining Reciprocity In A Sequential Contribution Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 567-584, 07.
  10. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2012. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Working Papers of BETA 2012-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  11. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "Endogenous Leadership Selection and Influence," Post-Print halshs-00142461, HAL.
  12. Meixing Dai, 2012. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers of BETA 2012-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  13. 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.
  14. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2012. "Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism, And Leading-By-Example," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 953-967, October.
  15. 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.
  16. Richard Martin & John Randal, 2005. "Voluntary contributions to a public good: A natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00306, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. Cagri S. Kumru & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "The Effect of Status on Charitable Giving," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 709-735, 08.
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Cited by:
  1. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," TSE Working Papers 13-383, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  2. 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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