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Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism, And Leading-By-Example

  • SIMON GÄCHTER
  • DANIELE NOSENZO
  • ELKE RENNER
  • MARTIN SEFTON

We examine the characteristics of effective leaders in a simple leader-follower voluntary contributions game. We focus on two factors: the individual’s cooperativeness and the individual’s beliefs about the cooperativeness of others. We find that groups perform best when led by those who are cooperatively inclined. Partly this reflects a false consensus effect: cooperative leaders are more optimistic than non-cooperators about the cooperativeness of followers. However, cooperative leaders contribute more than non-cooperative leaders even after controlling for optimism. We conclude that differing leader contributions by differing types of leader in large part reflects social motivations.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 953-967

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:4:p:953-967
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