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Bureaucracy in Quest for Feasibility

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  • Hervé Crès

    (Département d'économie)

  • Itzhak Gilboa,

    (Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC)

  • Nicolas Vieille

    (Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC)

Abstract

The head of an organization is viewed as dealing with an optimization problem under a variety of constraints. The bureaucracy, by contrast, is viewed as dealing with the constraints alone: it has to make a multitude of low-level decisions, in such a way that no constraint is violated. However, even the feasibility problem is computationally hard. Hence bureaucracies often try to rely on past cases, in the hope of making decisions that are feasible. We study the way that past cases might affect current choices, and show that, under certain conditions, the bureaucracy will guarantee feasibility only if it mimics its behavior in a single past case.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m2e02cub3.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m2e02cub3

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  1. Gilboa, I. & Schmeidler, D., 2001. "Inductive Inference: An Axiomatic Approach," Papers 2001-19, Tel Aviv.
  2. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
  3. Christian List & Ben Polak, 2010. "Introduction to Judgment Aggregation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000000006, David K. Levine.
  4. Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
  5. Wilson, Robert, 1972. "Social choice theory without the Pareto Principle," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 478-486, December.
  6. List, Christian & Pettit, Philip, 2002. "Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 89-110, April.
  7. Franz Dietrich & Philippe Mongin, 2010. "The premiss-based approach to judgment aggregation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27896, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Itzhak Gilboa & David Schmeidler, 1992. "Case-Based Decision Theory," Discussion Papers 994, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Rubinstein, Ariel & Fishburn, Peter C., 1986. "Algebraic aggregation theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 63-77, February.
  10. Dietrich, Franz & List, Christian, 2010. "Majority voting on restricted domains," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 512-543, March.
  11. Dietrich, Franz, 2010. "The possibility of judgment aggregation on agendas with subjunctive implications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(2), pages 603-638, March.
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