Leadership, Power and Inequality

The team brings together researchers from disciplines including anthropology, economics, history, political science and psychology, to study leadership, status, and power. We draw on diverse and complementary methodologies (e.g. experiments, theoretical modeling, statistical and econometric analysis, text analysis and machine learning), to address the following questions:

Leadership: What are the characteristics of effective leadership in different contexts, across societies and countries, and over time? How do individuals become leaders? What are the drivers of variation in perceptions of leadership, and preferences over leadership? How do individual behavioral strategies and group dynamics interact to shape patterns of leadership and followership?

Power and inequality: What ecological, economic and social contexts favor different sources of power and among which types of individuals or groups? How do people perceive and evaluate different dimensions and causes of inequality? How does the experience of power, or powerlessness, affect social behaviors such as cooperation and punishment?

Causes and mechanisms: What are the underlying mechanisms (e.g. evolutionary, intergenerational cultural transmission) driving the dynamics of observed leadership and inequality patterns? What role do different kinds of institutions, and communication technologies, play in these mechanisms? What are the biological, psychological, economic, and cultural forces shaping gender differences across the aforementioned questions?

Full members:

Lauren Bader
Roberta Dessí (Team Leader)
Zachary Garfield
Yuzuru Kumon
Daniel Tavana

Associate members:

Catherine Molho, Post-doctoral researcher at CREED, University of Amsterdam
Christopher von Rueden, Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of Richmond
Erik Wang, Assistant Professor, Australian National University

Occasional members:

Paul Seabright
Manvir Singh