We consider data from an experiment on the minimum-effort game, repeated over many periods. In each play of the game, each player's belief about the minimum-effort of other players in the group is elicited, in addition to the player's chosen effort level. We find that many agents choose effort levels systematically exceeding their beliefs of others' effort levels. We explain this in terms of such subjects taking the role of “leader” in an attempt to pull the group towards more efficient outcomes. We find that the propensity for leaders to emerge depends on individual traits such as trustfulness and cognitive ability. Furthermore, moving to a superior equilibrium is more likely under certain design features such as conditions relating to the cost of effort and the amount of information available to players.
- Learning in games