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Who are the Voluntary Leaders? Experimental Evidence from a Sequential Contribution Game

  • Raphaële Préget
  • Phu Nguyen-Van
  • Marc Willinger

We show that the preference to act as a leader rather than as a follower is related to subjects’ behavioral type. We rely on the methodology proposed by Fischbacher et al. (2001) and Fischbacher and Gächter (2010) in order to identify subjects’ behavioral types. We then link the likelihood to act as a leader in a repeated public goods game to the elicited behavioral types. The leader in a group is defined as the subject who voluntarily decides in the first place about his contribution. The leader’s contribution is then reported publicly to the remaining group members who are requested to take their contribution decisions simultaneously. Our main findings are that leaders emerge in almost all rounds and that conditional cooperators are more likely to act as leaders compared to free riders. We also find that voluntary leaders, irrespective of their behavioral type, contribute more than the followers. However leadership does not prevent the decay that is commonly observed in linear public goods experiments.

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File URL: http://www.lameta.univ-montp1.fr/Documents/DR2012-34.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier in its series Working Papers with number 12-34.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision: Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:lam:wpaper:12-34
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  1. 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.
  2. M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2005. "Leading by example in a public goods experiment with heterogeneity and incomplete information," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-17, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  3. Cagri S. Kumru & Lise Vesterlund, 2010. "The Effect of Status on Charitable Giving," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(4), pages 709-735, 08.
  4. Meixing Dai, 2012. "Static and Dynamic Effects of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers of BETA 2012-08, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  5. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2006. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-35, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  6. Urs Fischbacher & Simon Gaechter, 2009. "Social Preferences, Beliefs, and the Dynamics of Free Riding in Public Good Experiments," Discussion Papers 2009-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  7. Olivier Cardi & Romain Restout, 2012. "Unanticipated vs. Anticipated Tax Reforms in a Two-Sector Open Economy," Working Papers of BETA 2012-01, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
  8. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2012. "Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism, And Leading-By-Example," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(4), pages 953-967, October.
  9. Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Sequential versus Simultaneous Contributions to Public Goods: Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2602, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. 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.
  11. Martin G. Kocher & Todd L. Cherry & Stephan Kroll & Robert J. Netzer & Matthias Sutter, 2007. "Conditional cooperation on three continents," Working Papers 2007-02, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  12. Claudia Curi & Cinzia Daraio & Maria Patrick Llerena, 2012. "University Technology Transfer: How (in-)efficient are French universities?," DIS Technical Reports 2012-02, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
  13. Charles Figuières & David Masclet & Marc Willinger, 2012. "Vanishing Leadership And Declining Reciprocity In A Sequential Contribution Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 567-584, 07.
  14. 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.
  15. John Randal & Richard Martin, 2005. "Voluntary contributions to a public good: A natural field experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00306, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Rivas, M. Fernanda & Sutter, Matthias, 2011. "The benefits of voluntary leadership in experimental public goods games," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 176-178, August.
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