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Leaders as role models and ‘belief managers’ in social dilemmas

Gächter, Simon; Renner, Elke

Authors

SIMON GAECHTER simon.gaechter@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor, Psychology of Economic Decision Making



Abstract

We investigate the link between leadership, beliefs and pro-social behavior in social dilemmas. This link is interesting because field evidence suggests that people's behavior in domains like charitable giving, tax evasion, corporate culture and corruption is influenced by leaders (CEOs, politicians) and beliefs about others’ behavior. Our framework is a repeated experimental public goods game with and without a leader who makes a contribution to the public good before others (the followers). We find that leaders strongly shape their followers’ initial beliefs and contributions. In later rounds, followers put more weight on other followers’ past behavior than on the leader's current action. This creates a path dependency the leader can hardly correct. We discuss the implications for understanding belief effects in naturally occurring situations.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2018-10
Journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Print ISSN 0167-2681
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 154
Pages 321-334
APA6 Citation Gächter, S., & Renner, E. (2018). Leaders as role models and ‘belief managers’ in social dilemmas. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 154, 321-334. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.08.001
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.08.001
Keywords Economics and Econometrics; Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268118302063

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