Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies
AbstractLarge organizations are typically modelled as hierarchies. Hierarchies are discrete structures (trees), but researchers frequently use continuous aproximations. The purpose of this article is to study the validity of these approximations. I show that modelling hierarchies with a continuum of tiers is not a good approximation. I also show, for a particular model of balanced hierarchies, that ignoring rounding operators and integer constraints in formulae derived from the discrete model can be a valid approximation, when hierarchies are suitably large. This is made precise by bounds on the relative errors of approximations.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 26 (1995)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
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Web page: http://www.rje.org
Other versions of this item:
- Timothy Van Zandt, 1995. "Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies," Microeconomics 9503001, EconWPA, revised 16 Dec 1997.
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
- D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
- D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing
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- Meagher, Kieron J., 2003. "Generalizing incentives and loss of control in an optimal hierarchy: the role of information technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 273-280, February.
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