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Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments

  • Werner Güth


  • M. Vittoria Levati


  • Matthias Sutter


  • Eline van der Heijden

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.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group in its series Papers on Strategic Interaction with number 2004-29.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:discus:2004-29
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