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Who Makes a Good Leader? Social Preferences and Leading-by-Example

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  • Simon Gaechter
  • Daniele Nosenzo
  • Elke Renner
  • Martin Sefton

Abstract

We examine the effects of social preferences and beliefs about the social preferences of others in a simple leader-follower voluntary contributions game. We find that groups perform best when led by those who are reciprocally oriented. Part of the effect can be explained by a false consensus effect: selfish players tend to think it more likely that they are matched with another selfish player and reciprocators tend to think it more likely that they are matched with another reciprocator. Thus, reciprocators contribute more as leaders partly because they are more optimistic than selfish players about the reciprocal responses of followers. However, even after controlling for beliefs we find that reciprocally-oriented leaders contribute more than selfish leaders. Thus, we conclude that differing leader contributions by differing types of leader must in large part reflect social motivations.
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Suggested Citation

  • Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Who Makes a Good Leader? Social Preferences and Leading-by-Example," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000099, David K. Levine.
  • Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000099
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kocher, Martin G. & Pogrebna, Ganna & Sutter, Matthias, 2009. "Other-Regarding Preferences and Leadership Styles," IZA Discussion Papers 4080, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2014. "Preferences and beliefs in a sequential social dilemma: a within-subjects analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 122-135.
    3. d'Adda, Giovanna, 2011. "Social Status and Influence: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment on Local Public Good Provision," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 22, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    4. Giovanna d’Adda, 2012. "Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision," ECON - Working Papers 059, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Luca Corazzini & Sebastian Kube & Michel Andr� Mar�chal & Antonio Nicol�, 2009. "Elections and deceptions: an experimental study on the behavioral effects of democracy," IEW - Working Papers 421, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich, revised Aug 2013.
    6. Lisa Bruttel & Gerald Eisenkopf, 2009. "Incentive Compatible Contracts?," TWI Research Paper Series 43, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    7. Centorrino, Samuele & Concina, Laura, 2013. "A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games," LERNA Working Papers 13.02.389, LERNA, University of Toulouse.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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