Journal of the Economic Science Association

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 123–135 | Cite as

On the effectiveness of elected male and female leaders and team coordination

  • Ernesto ReubenEmail author
  • Krisztina Timko
Original Paper


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 captured solely by male leaders. However, this gender difference disappears with repeated interaction because unsuccessful male leaders are reelected more often than unsuccessful female leaders.


Gender differences Leadership Democracy effect Leader effectiveness Coordination 

JEL classification

M14 M54 J16 C92 



This research was funded with the faculty research funds of Columbia University (No. ID0ENSAE1241).

Supplementary material

40881_2018_56_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (881 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 881 kb)


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Copyright information

© Economic Science Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York University Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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