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What It Takes to Be a Leader: Leadership and Charisma in a Citizen-Candidate Model

Author

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  • Berdugo, Binyamin

Abstract

This paper analyses leadership and charisma within the framework of social choice. In societies that lack formal institutional authorities, the power of leaders to coerce is limited. Under such conditions, we find that social outcomes will depend not only on policy preferences but also on how a leader's ability to transform voluntary efforts into some public good are conceived by other society members. The paper has three main results: (1) institutionalized and uninstitutionalized societies that have identical characteristics might have different political equilibria (namely, they might choose different leaders and different policies); (2) under imperfect information regarding individuals' abilities, social choice may be biased toward less competent but more charismatic leaders; and (3) in uninstitutionalized societies, less competent, more charismatic leaders can achieve more in terms of social goals and welfare than can more competent and less charismatic ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Berdugo, Binyamin, 2008. "What It Takes to Be a Leader: Leadership and Charisma in a Citizen-Candidate Model," MPRA Paper 11408, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11408
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11408/1/MPRA_paper_11408.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alesina, Alberto & Spear, Stephen E., 1988. "An overlapping generations model of electoral competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 359-379, December.
    2. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114.
    3. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
    4. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82.
    5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1993. "Leadership Style and Incentives," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(11), pages 1299-1318, November.
    6. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    7. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Kaufmann, Daniel & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 2000. "Dodging the grabbing hand: the determinants of unofficial activity in 69 countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 459-493, June.
    8. Wittman, Donald, 1977. "Candidates with policy preferences: A dynamic model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 180-189, February.
    9. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Miller, 2011. "Why Do Populist-Outsiders Get Elected? A Model of Strategic Populists," Research Department Publications 4716, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Candidates; Charisma; Leadership; Public Goods ; Voting;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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