Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Dark Side of Leadership: An Experiment on Religious Heterogeneity and Cooperation in India.

Keuschnigg, Marc and Schikora, Jan (2014): The Dark Side of Leadership: An Experiment on Religious Heterogeneity and Cooperation in India. Published in: Journal of Socio-Economics , Vol. 48, (2014): pp. 19-26.

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Abstract

We investigate voluntary contribution to public goods in culturally heterogeneous groups with a laboratory experiment conducted among 432 Hindu and Muslim subjects in India. With our specification of 'Leading by example' we test for an interaction effect between leadership and religious heterogeneity in a high stake environment. While cultural diversity does not affect contributions in the standard linear Public Goods Game, it reduces cooperation in the presence of a leader. Furthermore, we show that preferences for conditional cooperation are only prevalent in pure groups. In mixed groups, poor leadership and uncertainty about followers' reciprocity hinders the functionality of leadership as an institutional device to resolve social dilemmas.

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