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Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision


D’Adda, Giovanna (2012). Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision. Working paper series / Department of Economics 59, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of leadership on the level and evolution of pro-social behavior using an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision. Participants decide how much to contribute to an actual conservation project. They can then revise their donations after being randomly matched in pairs on the basis of their authority and having observed each other’s contributions. Authority is measured through a social ranking exercise identifying formal and moral leaders within the community. I find that giving by a pair is higher and shows a lower tendency to decrease over time when a leader is part of a pair. This is because higher-ranked pair members in general, and leaders in particular, donate more and are less likely to revise contributions downwards after giving more than their counterparts. Leadership effects are stronger when moral authority is made salient within the experiment, in line with the ethical nature of the decision under study. These findings highlight the importance of identifying different forms of leadership and targeting the relevant leaders in projects aimed at local public good provision.

This paper studies the effect of leadership on the level and evolution of pro-social behavior using an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision. Participants decide how much to contribute to an actual conservation project. They can then revise their donations after being randomly matched in pairs on the basis of their authority and having observed each other’s contributions. Authority is measured through a social ranking exercise identifying formal and moral leaders within the community. I find that giving by a pair is higher and shows a lower tendency to decrease over time when a leader is part of a pair. This is because higher-ranked pair members in general, and leaders in particular, donate more and are less likely to revise contributions downwards after giving more than their counterparts. Leadership effects are stronger when moral authority is made salient within the experiment, in line with the ethical nature of the decision under study. These findings highlight the importance of identifying different forms of leadership and targeting the relevant leaders in projects aimed at local public good provision.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:D7, H4, O1
Uncontrolled Keywords:Leadership, Local public goods, Experimental, Colombia
Language:English
Date:January 2012
Deposited On:01 Feb 2012 11:33
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:32
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:54
ISSN:1664-7041 (P) 1664-705X (E)
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp059.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-57856

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