January 2017

IZA DP No. 10497: On the Effectiveness of Elected Male and Female Leaders and Team Coordination

Ernesto Reuben, Krisztina Timko

published in: Journal of the Economic Science Association, 2018, 4, 123-135

We study the effect on coordination in a minimum-effort game of a leader's gender depending on whether the leader is democratically elected or is randomly-selected. Leaders use non-binding messages to try to convince followers to coordinate on the Pareto-efficient equilibrium. We find that teams with elected leaders coordinate on higher effort levels. Initially, the benefits of being elected are enjoyed solely by male leaders. However, this gender difference disappears with repeated interaction as unsuccessful male leaders are reelected more often than unsuccessful female leaders.