Who are the voluntary leaders? Experimental evidence from a sequential contribution game
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We rely on the methodology of Fischbacher et al. (Econ Lett 71(3):397–404, 2001) 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 take their contribution decisions simultaneously. Our main findings are that leaders emerge in almost all rounds and that subjects who are identified as conditional cooperators are more likely to act as leaders than other types, e.g., free-riders or triangle-contributors. We also find that voluntary leaders, irrespective of their behavioral type, contribute always more than followers. However, the presence of leadership does not prevent the decay that is commonly observed in linear public goods experiments.
KeywordsPublic goods Experimental economics Voluntary contribution mechanism Leadership
JEL ClassificationH41 C92
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