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Leading by Example in a Public Goods Experiment with Heterogeneity and Incomplete Information

Author

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  • M. Vittoria Levati

    (Strategic Interaction Group Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany and University of Bari, Italy)

  • Matthias Sutter

    (Department of Economics University of Innsbruck, Austria)

  • Eline van der Heijden

    (Department of Economics and CentER Tilburg University, Netherlands)

Abstract

We study the effects of leadership on the private provision of a public good when group members are heterogeneously endowed. Leadership is implemented as a sequential public goods game where one group member contributes first and all the others follow. Our results show that the presence of a leader increases average contribution levels but less so than in case of homogeneous endowments. Leadership is almost ineffective, though, if participants do not know the distribution of endowments. Granting the leaders exclusion power does not lead to significantly higher contributions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:51:y:2007:i:5:p:793-818
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    Keywords

    public goods experiment; leadership; exclusion; heterogeneous endowments; incomplete information;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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