Who Makes a Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism, and Leading‐By‐Example

15 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2012

See all articles by Simon Gaechter

Simon Gaechter

University of Nottingham; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Daniele Nosenzo

University of Nottingham

Elke Renner

University of Nottingham

Martin Sefton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics

Date Written: October 2012

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 noncooperators about the cooperativeness of followers. However, cooperative leaders contribute more than noncooperative leaders even after controlling for optimism. We conclude that differing leader contributions by differing types of leader in large part reflects social motivations.

JEL Classification: A13, C92, D03

Suggested Citation

Gachter, Simon and Nosenzo, Daniele and Renner, Elke and Sefton, Martin, Who Makes a Good Leader? Cooperativeness, Optimism, and Leading‐By‐Example (October 2012). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 50, Issue 4, pp. 953-967, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2157841 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2010.00295.x

Simon Gachter

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Daniele Nosenzo

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Elke Renner

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG8 1BB
United Kingdom

Martin Sefton

University of Nottingham - School of Economics ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
1
Abstract Views
868
PlumX Metrics