Choosing a Public-Spirited Leader. An experimental investigation of political selection
Thomas Markussen () and
Jean-Robert Tyran ()
No 17-04, Discussion Papers from University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics
In this experiment, voters select a leader who can either act in the public interest, i.e. make efficient and equitable policy choices, or act in a corrupt way, i.e. use public funds for private gain. Voters can observe candidates’ pro-social behavior and their score in a cognitive ability test prior to the election, and this fact is known to candidates. Therefore, self-interested candidates have incentives to act in a pro-social manner, i.e. to pretend to be public-spirited leaders. We find that both truly pro-social and egoistic leaders co-exist, but that political selection is ineffective in choosing public-spirited leaders. The main reason is that egoistic candidates strategically pretend to be pro-social to increase their chances of winning the election.
Keywords: political selection; pro-social behavior; social dilemma; corruption; voting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 C91 D03 D72 H41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-exp and nep-pol
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Journal Article: Choosing a public-spirited leader: An experimental investigation of political selection (2017)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1704
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