Working paper

A Competitive Approach to Leadership in Public Good Games

Samuele Centorrino, and Laura Concina


We show that introducing a competitive preliminary stage in a sequential public good game helps select one of the more cooperative leaders in the group. Using a modified second price auction, we find that bids have a strong positive predictive power on individual contributions. Moreover, evidence is provided that trust can explain voluntary and cooperative leadership. However, followers reaction to voluntary leaders may rise free riding behaviour, with uncertain effect on total public good provision.


Public good experiment Leadership Self-selection Cooperation Trust Public good provision;

JEL codes

  • A13: Relation of Economics to Social Values
  • C72: Noncooperative Games
  • C92: Laboratory, Group Behavior
  • H41: Public Goods
  • Z13: Economic Sociology • Economic Anthropology • Social and Economic Stratification

See also

Published in

TSE Working Paper, n. 13-383, February 2013