Does 'Being Chosen' to Lead Induce Non-Selfish Behavior? Experimental Evidence on Reciprocity

38 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2016

See all articles by Allan Drazen

Allan Drazen

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Erkut Ozbay

University of Maryland

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

We present experimental evidence that policies chosen by leaders depend on whether they were elected or appointed. Consistent with previous studies of the "dictator game", we find that unitary policymakers do not always act selfishly, that is, choose a policy that maximizes their own payoffs. However, the way in which one became the leader matters. Leaders who are elected are significantly more likely to choose a policy not equal to their "type" than leaders who are appointed. Elected leaders who act non-selfishly will favor the voter rather than the losing candidate, while appointed leaders show no tendency to favor the voter over the losing candidate. Our results provide support for the view that non-selfish behavior of leaders reflects a reciprocity motive. They also show that candidates do not simply implement their own preferences once in office, as suggested by the basic citizen-candidate model.

Keywords: Citizen-Candidate, Dictator Game, leaders, Reciprocity

JEL Classification: C91, D64, D72

Suggested Citation

Drazen, Allan and Ozbay, Erkut, Does 'Being Chosen' to Lead Induce Non-Selfish Behavior? Experimental Evidence on Reciprocity (June 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11338. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2798127

Allan Drazen (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-3477 (Phone)
301-405-7835 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Erkut Ozbay

University of Maryland ( email )

College Park
No Address Available

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