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Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments

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  • Werner Güth

    ()

  • M. Vittoria Levati

    ()

  • Matthias Sutter

    ()

  • Eline van der Heijden

Abstract

Leadership is important for the well-functioning of organizations. We examine the effects of leadership on contributions in public goods experiments. Leadership by example is implemented by letting one group member contribute to the public good before followers do. Such leadership increases contributions in comparison to the standard voluntary contribution mechanism, especially so when it goes along with authority, which we implement by granting the leader ostracism power. Whether leadership is fixed or rotating among group members has no significant influence on contributions. Only a minority of groups succeeds in endogenously installing a leader, even though groups with leaders are much more efficient than groups without a leader.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2004. "Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dewan, Torun & Myatt, David P., 2008. "The Qualities of Leadership: Direction, Communication, and Obfuscation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 102(03), pages 351-368, August.
    2. Alan S. Blinder & John Morgan, 2008. "Leadership in Groups: A Monetary Policy Experiment," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 117-150, December.
    3. Urs Fischbacher & Simon G�chter, 2005. "Heterogeneous social preferences and the dynamics of free riding in public goods," IEW - Working Papers 261, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Simon Gaechter, 2006. "Conditional cooperation: Behavioral regularities from the lab and the field and their policy implications," Discussion Papers 2006-03, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    5. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2006. "Experiments in Environmental Economics and Some Close Relatives," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 419-457, July.
    6. Bodo Sturm & Joachim Weimann, 2004. "Unilateral Emissions Abatement: An Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1152, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Paul Muller, 2006. "Reputation, trust and the dynamics of leadership in communities of practice," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 10(4), pages 381-400, November.
    8. Werthmann, Christine & Weingart, Anne & Kirk, Michael, 2010. "Common-pool resources-a challenge for local governance: Experimental research in eight villages in the Mekong Delta of Cambodia and Vietnam," CAPRi working papers 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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