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Leading by Example to Protect the Environment

Listed author(s):
  • Eline Van der Heijden

    ()

    (Department of Economics and CentER, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands)

  • Erling Moxnes

    (Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)

Environmentalists often urge their home countries to take a leading role in reducing global environmental problems like climate change. A pertinent question is, Will examples set by leading nations influence others to follow suit, and if so, do the costs of leading matter? For instance, will costly domestic reductions have a stronger effect on followers than purchases of cheap emission permits abroad? To investigate these questions, we have conducted two treatments in a public bad experiment in which leaders have different costs of leading. Our findings suggest that higher costs of leading lead to stronger effects of a given leader example. Randomly chosen leaders lead by example and set better examples if it is less costly to do so. Finally, there seems to be a limit to the leader effect and it may decrease over time.

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File URL: http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/57/2/307.abstract
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Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Volume (Year): 57 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 307-326

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:57:y:2013:i:2:p:307-326
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://pss.la.psu.edu/

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