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Leadership, cheap talk and really cheap talk

Listed author(s):
  • Levy, David M.
  • Padgitt, Kail
  • Peart, Sandra J.
  • Houser, Daniel
  • Xiao, Erte

Previous research offers compelling evidence that leaders suffice to effect efficiency-enhancements on cooperation, yet the source of this effect remains unclear. To investigate whether leadership effects can be attributed exclusively to the common information that leaders provide to a group, irrespective of the source of that information, we design a public goods game in which non-binding contribution suggestions originate with either a human or computer leader. We find that group members' decisions are significantly influenced by human leaders' non-binding contribution suggestions, both when the leader is elected as well as when the leader is randomly chosen. A leader's suggestion becomes an upper bound for group member's contributions. Identical suggestions do not impact the group members' decisions when they originate with a computer, thus supporting to the view that information provided by human leaders is uniquely able to establish welfare-enhancing norms.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(10)00176-9
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 77 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 40-52

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:77:y:2011:i:1:p:40-52
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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  17. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00180203 is not listed on IDEAS
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