Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing and Returns to Scale

Contents:

Author Info

  • Timothy Van Zandt
  • Roy Radner

Abstract

We use a model of real-time decentralized information processing to understand how constraints on human information processing affect the returns to scale of organizations. We identify three informational (dis)economies of scale: diversification of heterogeneous risks (positive), sharing of information and of costs (positive), and crowding out of recent information due to information processing delay (negative). Because decision rules are endogenous, delay does not inexorably lead to decreasing returns to scale. However, returns are more likely to be decreasing when computation constraints, rather than sampling costs, limit the information upon which decisions are conditioned. The results illustrate how information processing constraints together with the requirement of informaitonal integration cause a breakdown of the replication arguments that have been used to establish nondecreasing technological returns to scale.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/papers/1233.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1233.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1233

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, Northwestern University, 580 Jacobs Center, 2001 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2014
Phone: 847/491-3527
Fax: 847/491-2530
Email:
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Email:

Related research

Keywords: returns to scale; real-time computation; decentralized information processing; organizations; bounded rationality;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Geanakoplos, John & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "A theory of hierarchies based on limited managerial attention," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 205-225, September.
  2. Thomas Marschak, 1996. "On economies of scope in communication," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-31, December.
  3. Erik J. Brynjolfsson & Thomas Malone & Vijay Gurbaxani & Ajit Kambil, 1991. "Does Information Technology Lead to Smaller Firms?," Working Paper Series 123, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab Bardhan & Masatoshi Tsumagari, 2011. "Middlemen Margins And Globalization," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-034, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Dimitri Vayanos, 2003. "The Decentralization of Information Processing in the Presence of Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 667-695, 07.
  3. Mendelson, Haim & Pillai, Ravindran R., 1999. "Information Age organizations, dynamics and performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 253-281, March.
  4. Kieron Meagher & Andrew Wait, 2008. "Who Decides about Change and Restructuring in Organizations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 587, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Wernerfelt, Birger, 2003. "Organizational Languages," Working papers 4278-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  6. Meagher, Kieron & Orbay, Hakan & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2001. "Hierarchy Size and Environmental Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. DeCanio, Stephen J. & Watkins, William E., 1998. "Information processing and organizational structure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 275-294, August.
  8. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
  9. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," NBER Working Papers 16911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Van Zandt, Timothy, 2004. "Structure and Returns to Scale of Real-Time Hierarchical Resource Allocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1233. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.