Abstract: Does transparent leadership promote cooperative groups? We address this issue using a public goods experiment with exogenously selected leaders who are able to send non-binding contribution suggestions to the group. To investigate the effect of transparency in this setting we vary the ease with which a leaderâ€™s actions are known by the group. We find leadersâ€™ suggestions encourage cooperation in all treatments, but that both leaders and their group members are more likely to follow leadersâ€™ recommendations when institutions are transparent so that non-leaders can easily see what the leader does. Consequently, transparency leads to significantly more cooperation, higher group earnings and reduced variation in contributions among group members.