Experimental Design Details
The experiment will be conducted in the Cologne Laboratory of Economic Research (CLER). It serves as a pilot study and was programmed using the software oTree (Chen et al., 2016). Subjects will be recruited using ORSEE (Greiner, 2015). The experiment was approved by the ethics committee of the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (ERC-FMES) of the University of Cologne in September 2022. Subjects are paid according to the rules of the CLER and know that they can withdraw from the experiment at any time.
The final sample will exclude subjects that:
1. quit the experiment before its end;
2. reveal their identity or gender in the chat;
3. answer the questionnaires at the end of the experiment inattentively (i.e., at least one (out of two) quality check item was answered incorrectly).
Subjects play a standard public good game (PGG). The PGG is adapted to the context of interest by adding a communication tool, i.e., a free-form chat that can be used to persuade others to contribute to the public good. Before subjects receive information about the experiment, they are asked to provide information on age, gender, occupation, and, if they are students, their field of study. Prior to the first round of the PGG, subjects need to answer control questions about the PGG and are asked to state their belief about their own relative persuasion ability in comparison to other subjects. Then, subjects are randomly assigned to the leadership position (treatment) or the team member position (control). Conditional on the subjects’ role, they are randomly assigned to groups of three which consist of one leader and two team members. Treatment assignment is stratified by gender (please see Randomization Method for more details).
Leaders can chat with both team members simultaneously in two distinct chat rooms. The other subjects can only chat with the team leader but not with the other team member of their group (e.g., Eisenkopf, 2014). The chats close after a predetermined time. Afterwards, subjects state again their belief in their own relative persuasion ability and the degree of self-persuasion (Schwardmann et al., 2022), i.e., how much their own belief is affected by persuading others, will be recorded.
Thereafter, subjects make their contribution decisions. Subsequently, subjects are informed about their group’s overall contribution as well as about their own payoff.
In this stage, subjects participate in an incentive compatible second price sealed bid auction (Vickrey, 1961) to apply for a position as leader in Stage 3. For this purpose, subjects are endowed with an extra budget unrelated to the payoffs they have earned in Stage 1. Subjects will again answer control questions to ensure that they understand the auction.
Stage 3 is almost equivalent to Stage 1. Subjects again play the PGG with chats and contributions. Feedback provision is the same as in Stage 1. The main difference is that subjects are not randomly assigned to leadership positions, but the assignment will follow the outcomes of Stage 2, the application stage.
Subjects are then asked to provide survey information on, e.g., reasons for (not) applying to the leader position, their risk preferences, their (non-calculative) motivation to lead (Chan et al., 2012), their willingness to grant and claim the lead (Geissner et al., 2022), their collectivist values (Dorfman & Howell, 1988) and the appropriateness of the length of the chat. The latter information will be used for future experiments.
In each stage, subjects receive the same endowment. It will be randomly determined whether subjects’ payment is based on Stages 1 and 2 or on Stages 2 and 3.