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

  • Gächter, Simon

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Nosenzo, Daniele

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Renner, Elke

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

  • Sefton, Martin

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3914.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2012, 50 (4), 867–879
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3914
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  1. Simon Gächter & Elke Renner, 2010. "The effects of (incentivized) belief elicitation in public goods experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 364-377, September.
  2. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter & Ernst Fehr, . "Are People Conditionally Cooperative? Evidence from a Public Goods Experiment," IEW - Working Papers 016, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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  6. Clark, Kenneth & Sefton, Martin, 2001. "The Sequential Prisoner's Dilemma: Evidence on Reciprocation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 51-68, January.
  7. Jana Vyrastekova & Supriya Garikipati, 2005. "Beliefs and Trust: An Experiment," Research Papers 200511, University of Liverpool Management School.
  8. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2007. "Endogenous Leadership Selection and Influence," Working Papers 0707, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  9. Marwell, Gerald & Ames, Ruth E., 1981. "Economists free ride, does anyone else? : Experiments on the provision of public goods, IV," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 295-310, June.
  10. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
  11. Burks, Stephen V. & Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2003. "Playing both roles in the trust game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 195-216, June.
  12. Blanco, Mariana & Engelmann, Dirk & Koch, Alexander K. & Normann, Hans-Theo, 2008. "Belief Elicitation in Experiments: Is there a Hedging Problem?," IZA Discussion Papers 3517, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, 2003. "Are Political Economists Selfish and Indoctrinated? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 448-462, July.
  14. M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2007. "Leading by Example in a Public Goods Experiment with Heterogeneity and Incomplete Information," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(5), pages 793-818, October.
  15. Jan Potters & Martin Sefton & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 169-182, October.
  16. Altmann, Steffen & Dohmen, Thomas & Wibral, Matthias, 2008. "Do the reciprocal trust less?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 454-457, June.
  17. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
  18. Greiner, Ben, 2004. "An Online Recruitment System for Economic Experiments," MPRA Paper 13513, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Vyrastekova, J. & Garikipati, S., 2005. "Beliefs and Trust : An Experiment," Discussion Paper 2005-88, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  20. Meyer, Heinz-Dieter, 1992. "Norms and self-interest in ultimatum bargaining: The prince's prudence," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 215-232, June.
  21. Ananish Chaudhuri & Lata Gangadharan, 2007. "An Experimental Analysis of Trust and Trustworthiness," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 959–985, April.
  22. Carpenter, Jeffrey P. & Burks, Stephen V. & Verhoogen, Eric, 2004. "Comparing Students to Workers: The Effects of Social Framing on Behavior in Distribution Games," IZA Discussion Papers 1341, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  23. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2000. "The False Consensus Effect Disappears if Representative Information and Monetary Incentives Are Given," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 241-260, December.
  24. Gunnthorsdottir, Anna & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon, 2002. "Using the Machiavellianism instrument to predict trustworthiness in a bargaining game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 49-66, February.
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