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Voluntary Leadership: Selection and Influence

Author

Listed:
  • Emrah Arbak

    (CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies - Centre for European Policy Studies)

  • Marie Claire Villeval

    () (GATE Lyon Saint-Étienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - ENS Lyon - École normale supérieure - Lyon - UL2 - Université Lumière - Lyon 2 - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon - UJM - Université Jean Monnet [Saint-Étienne] - Université de Lyon - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

In social dilemmas, leading a team by making heroic efforts may prove costly, especially when the followers are not adequately motivated to make similar sacrifices. Attempting to shed light on what drives people to lead, we devise a two-stage public good experiment with endogenous timing. We show that leading by making generous contributions is widespread and relatively persistent. At least three motives explain this behavior. Some use leadership strategically to distill personal gains, with the expectation that others will respond by being at least as generous. Others are more altruistic, volunteering to lead even though this may come at a personal cost. Yet for another fraction of volunteers, a concern for maintaining a positive social image appears to be responsible. We also find that voluntary leaders are not necessarily more influential than randomly-chosen leaders.

Suggested Citation

  • Emrah Arbak & Marie Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary Leadership: Selection and Influence," Post-Print halshs-00664830, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00664830
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00664830
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    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00664830/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Furtner, Nadja C. & Kocher, Martin G. & Martinsson, Peter & Matzat, Dominik & Wollbrant, Conny, 2016. "Gender and cooperative preferences on five continents," Discussion Papers in Economics 30226, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Bruttel, Lisa & Fischbacher, Urs, 2013. "Taking the initiative. What characterizes leaders?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 147-168.
    3. Markussen, Thomas & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2017. "Choosing a public-spirited leader: An experimental investigation of political selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 204-218.
    4. Daniela Grieco & Michela Braga & Francesco Bripi, 2016. "Cooperation and leadership in a segregated community: Evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment in a South African township," WIDER Working Paper Series 076, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    Keywords

    leadership; endogenous selection; influence; voluntary contribution; experiment;

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