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  • Wernerfelt, Birger

Abstract

The paper is concerned with communication within a team of players trying to coordinate in response to information dispersed among them. The problem is non-trivial because they cannot communicate all information instantaneously, but have to send longer or shorter sequences of messages, using coarse codes. We focus on the design of these codes and show that members may gain comaptibility advantages by using identical codes, and that this can support the existence of several, more or less efficient, symmetric equilibria. Asymmetric eqilibria exist if coordination across different sets of members is of differing importance, and fewer symmetric equilibria exist if the members' local environments are sufficiently heterogeneous. The results are consistent with the stylized fact that firms differ even within industries, and that coordination between divisions is harder than coordination inside divisions.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/1812
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management in its series Working papers with number 4278-03.

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Date of creation: 03 Feb 2003
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Handle: RePEc:mit:sloanp:1812

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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA
Phone: 617-253-2659
Web page: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/
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Postal: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT), SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, 50 MEMORIAL DRIVE CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142 USA

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References

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  1. Rubinstein,Ariel, 2000. "Economics and Language," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521593069, October.
  2. Kofman, Fred & Ratliff, James D., 1996. "Monolog vs. dialog in costly bilateral communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 431-443, December.
  3. J. Farrell, 2010. "Meaning and Credibility in Cheap Talk Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 533, David K. Levine.
  4. Duncan Simester & Marc Knez, 2002. "Direct and Indirect Bargaining Costs and the Scope of the Firm," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(2), pages 283-304, April.
  5. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  6. Rabin, Matthew & Sobel, Joel, 1993. "Deviations, Dynamics and Equilibrium Refinements," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt40s882v6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. anonymous, 1978. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(9), pages 919-919, May.
  8. Crawford, Vincent, 1998. "A Survey of Experiments on Communication via Cheap Talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 286-298, February.
  9. Wernerfelt, Birger, 1997. "On the Nature and Scope of the Firm: An Adjustment-Cost Theory," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70(4), pages 489-514, October.
  10. Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Conditioning Institutions and Renegotiation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1225, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 2004. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9599, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Crawford, Vincent P & Sobel, Joel, 1982. "Strategic Information Transmission," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1431-51, November.
  13. Meyer, Margaret A, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41, January.
  14. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-55, March.
  15. Dow, James, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, January.
  16. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Crémer, Jacques & Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2004. "Codes in Organizations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4205, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hirokazu Takizawa, 2003. "Coordination Costs and the Optimal Partition of a Product Design," Discussion papers 03014, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  3. 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).
  4. Jacques Crémer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2007. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 373-407, 02.
  5. Marco LiCalzi & Nadia Maagli, 2013. "Bargaining over a common conceptual space," Working Papers 30, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

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