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The decentralization of information processing in the presence of interactions

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  • Dimitri Vayanos

Abstract

We propose a model of organizational decision making, in which information processing is decentralized. Our model incorporates two features of many actual organizations: aggregation entails a loss of useful information, and the decision problems of different agents interact. We assume that an organization forms a portfolio of risky assets, following a hierarchical procedure. Agents' decision rules and the organization's hierarchical structure are derived endogenously. Typically, in the optimal hierarchical structure, all agents have one subordinate, and returns to ability are at least as high at the bottom as at the top. However, these results can be reversed in the presence of returns to specialization.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/452/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 452.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Studies, July, 2003, 70(3), pp. 667-695. ISSN: 1467-937X
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:452

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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Timothy Van Zandt & Roy Radner, 1998. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing and Returns to Scale," Discussion Papers 1233, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  3. Timothy Van Zandt, 1997. "Real-Time Hierarchical Resource Allocation," Discussion Papers 1231, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Prat, Andrea, 1997. "Hierarchies of Processors with Endogenous Capacity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 214-222, November.
  5. Michael Keren & David Levhari, 1979. "The Optimum Span of Control in a Pure Hierarchy," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(11), pages 1162-1172, November.
  6. Orbay, Hakan, 2002. "Information Processing Hierarchies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 370-407, August.
  7. Michael Keren & David Levhari, 1983. "The Internal Organization of the Firm and the Shape of Average Costs," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 474-486, Autumn.
  8. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  9. Van Zandt, Timothy, 2003. "Real-Time Hierarchical Resource Allocation with Quadratic Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 4022, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Alan Beggs, 2000. "Queues and Hierarchies," Economics Series Working Papers 34, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  11. Jacques Cremer, 1980. "A Partial Theory of the Optimal Organization of a Bureaucracy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 683-693, Autumn.
  12. Van Zandt, Timothy, 1999. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing as a Model of Organizations with Boundedly Rational Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 633-58, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Phalippou, Ludovic & Gottschalg, Olivier, 2010. "Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-section of Private Equity Investment Returns," MPRA Paper 28487, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Thorsten Hens & P. Jean-Jacques Herings & Arkadi Predtetchinskii, . "Limits to Arbitrage when Market Participation Is Restricted," IEW - Working Papers 176, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Dessein, Wouter & Santos, Jesus, 2003. "The Demand for Coordination," CEPR Discussion Papers 4096, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Ludovic Phalippou & Oliver Gottschalg, 2011. "Giants at the Gate: On the Cross-Section of Private Equity Investment Returns," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-035/2/DSF12, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Castanheira, Micael & Leppämäki, Mikko, 2003. "Optimal Information Management: Organizations versus Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 4072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andrea Patacconi, 2005. "Optimal Coordination in Hierarchies," Economics Series Working Papers 238, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
  8. Aditya Goenka, 2004. "Non-Fungibility and Mental Accounting: A Model of Bounded Rationality with Sunspot," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 234, Econometric Society.

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