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Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism And Leading-By-Example

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  • Simon Gaechter

    (Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx), University of Nottingham)

  • Daniele Nosenzo

    (Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx), University of Nottingham)

  • Elke Renner

    (Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx), University of Nottingham)

  • Martin Sefton

    (Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx), University of Nottingham)

Abstract

We examine the characteristics of effective leaders in a simple leader-follower voluntary contributions game. We focus on two factors: the individual’s cooperativeness and the individual’s beliefs about the cooperativeness of others. We find that groups perform best when led by those who are cooperatively inclined. Partly this reflects a false consensus effect: cooperative leaders are more optimistic than non-cooperators about the cooperativeness of followers. However, cooperative leaders contribute more than non-cooperative leaders even after controlling for optimism. We conclude that differing leader contributions by differing types of leader in large part reflects social motivations.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Gaechter & Daniele Nosenzo & Elke Renner & Martin Sefton, 2009. "Who Makes A Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism And Leading-By-Example," Discussion Papers 2009-19, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:not:notcdx:2009-19
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    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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