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Choosing a Public-Spirited Leader. An experimental investigation of political selection

Publikation: Working paperForskning

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.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Antal sider32
StatusUdgivet - 2017
NavnUniversity of Copenhagen. Institute of Economics. Discussion Papers (Online)
Nummer17-04
ISSN1601-2461

ID: 178282245