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Decentralized Organizational Learning: An Experimental Investigation

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  • Andreas Blume
  • John Duffy
  • April M. Franco

Abstract

We experimentally study decentralized organizational learning. Our objective is to understand how learning members of an organization cope with the confounding effects of the simultaneous learning of others. We test the predictions of a stylized, rational agent model of organizational learning that provides sharp predictions as to how learning members of an organization might cope with the simultaneous learning of others as a function of fundamental variables, e.g., firm size and the discount factor. While the problem of learning while others are learning is quite difficult, we find support for the comparative static predictions of the model's unique symmetric equilibrium. (JEL C72, D23, D83)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1178-1205

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1178-1205

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1178
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References

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  1. Ho, Teck-Hua & Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1998. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best Response in Experimental "p-Beauty Contests."," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 947-69, September.
  2. Blume, Andreas & Gneezy, Uri, 2010. "Cognitive forward induction and coordination without common knowledge: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 488-511, March.
  3. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  4. Andreas Blume & Uri Gneezy, 1998. "An Experimental Investigation of Optimal Learning in Coordination Games," CIG Working Papers FS IV 98-12, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  5. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1737-1768, December.
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  7. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  8. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  9. Bhaskar, V., 2000. "Egalitarianism and Efficiency in Repeated Symmetric Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-262, August.
  10. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  11. Aumann, Robert J, 1987. "Correlated Equilibrium as an Expression of Bayesian Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 1-18, January.
  12. Blume, Andreas & Franco, April Mitchell, 2007. "Decentralized learning from failure," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 504-523, March.
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  14. Roberto A. Weber & Colin F. Camerer, 2003. "Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 400-415, April.
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  16. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  17. Pertti H. Lounamaa & James G. March, 1987. "Adaptive Coordination of a Learning Team," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(1), pages 107-123, January.
  18. Andreas Blume & Douglas V. DeJong & George R. Neumann & N. E. Savin, 2002. "Learning and communication in sender-receiver games: an econometric investigation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 225-247.
  19. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  20. Andreas Blume, 1998. "Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language," CIG Working Papers FS IV 98-11, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  21. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  22. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  23. Stahl Dale O. & Wilson Paul W., 1995. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 218-254, July.
  24. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  25. Richard H. Day & E. Herbert Tinney, 1968. "How to Co-operate in Business without Really Trying: A Learning Model of Decentralized Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 583.
  26. Thomas Wiseman, 2005. "A Partial Folk Theorem for Games with Unknown Payoff Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 629-645, 03.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Andonie, Costel & Kuzmics, Christoph, 2012. "Pre-election polls as strategic coordination devices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 681-700.
  2. Guillaume R. Fréchette, 2006. "Session Effects in the Laboratory," CIRANO Working Papers 2006s-21, CIRANO.
  3. Lai, Ernest K. & Lim, Wooyoung, 2012. "Authority and communication in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 541-560.
  4. Andreas Blume, 2011. "Dynamic Coordination Via Organizational Routines," Working Papers 439, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.
  5. Heidhues, Paul & Blume, Andreas & Franco, April, 2013. "Dynamic Coordination via Organizational Routines," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80027, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. John Duffy & Sourav Bhattacharya & Sun-Tak Kim, 2012. "Compulsory versus Voluntary Voting: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 492, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2013.

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