Leader Identity and Coordination

93 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2021

See all articles by Sonia Bhalotra

Sonia Bhalotra

University of Warwick

Irma Clots-Figueras

University of Kent

Lakshmi Iyer

University of Notre Dame

Joe Vecci

Gothenburg University

Date Written: May 1, 2021


This paper examines policy effectiveness as a function of leader identity. We experimentally vary leader religious identity in a coordination game implemented in India, and focus upon citizen reactions to leader identity, controlling for leader actions. We find that minority leaders improve coordination, while majority leaders do not. Alternative treatment arms reveal that affirmative action for minorities reverses this result, while intergroup contact improves the effectiveness of leaders of both identities. We also find that minority leaders are less effective in towns with a history of intergroup conflict. Our results demonstrate that leader and policy effectiveness depend upon citizen reactions, conditioned by social identity and past conflict.

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia and Clots-Figueras, Irma and Iyer, Lakshmi and Vecci, Joe, Leader Identity and Coordination (May 1, 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16158, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3886579

Sonia Bhalotra (Contact Author)

University of Warwick

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Irma Clots-Figueras

University of Kent ( email )

Keynes College
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

Lakshmi Iyer

University of Notre Dame ( email )

3054 Jenkins Nanovic Halls
Notre Dame, IN 46530
United States

Joe Vecci

Gothenburg University ( email )

767851248 (Phone)

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