Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing and Returns to Scale
AbstractWe 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 InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1233.
Date of creation: Nov 1998
Date of revision:
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
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/math/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
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.:
- Thomas Marschak, 1996. "On economies of scope in communication," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-31, December.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Thomas W. Malone & Vijay Gurbaxani & Ajit Kambil, 1994.
"Does Information Technology Lead to Smaller Firms?,"
INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1628-1644, December.
- 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.
- 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.
- John Geanakoplos & Paul R. Milgrom, 1988. "A Theory of Hierarchies Based on Limited Managerial Attention," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 775R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Meagher, Kieron & Orbay, Hakan & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2001. "Hierarchy Size and Environmental Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2839, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dimitri Vayanos, 2003.
"The decentralization of information processing in the presence of interactions,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
452, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- 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.
- Dimitri Vayanos, 2003. "The Decentralization of Information Processing in the Presence of Interactions," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 667-695.
- Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," NBER Working Papers 16911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010.
"Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
- Stephen J. DeCanio & William E. Watkins, .
"Information Processing and Organizational Structure,"
Computing in Economics and Finance 1997
163, Society for Computational Economics.
- 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.
- Wernerfelt, Birger, 2003.
4278-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Fran Walker).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.