Self selection, competition, and the willingness to share
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|Politicians are often chosen through competition. The candidate must put money and effort to the election campaign, while the return of this investment is uncertain. Therefore, people with specific value sets, can be over-proportionally elected as leaders. We study whether people self-select to the position with power in the laboratory experiment. Two players can compete for a right to distribute resources between themselves, and a third, uninvolved player. We compare how much winners and losers would transfer before they know who won, and we also observe transfer in a control treatment without the investment stage, when winner gets the right to decide randomly. We find substantial self-selection to the position of power – people who invested more in the contest treatment transferred significantly less than those who invested less, and this result is not driven by wealth. In addition, we find that people that went through contest transfer less, even if they did not win. Both winning the contest and engaging in it have a significant negative effect on sharing.