Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies
AbstractLarge organizations are typically modeled as hierarchies. Hierarchies are discrete structures (trees), but researchers frequently use continuous approximations. The purpose of this paper is to study the validity of these approximations. I show that modeling hierarchies with a continuum of tiers is not a good approximation. I also show, for a particular model of balanced hierarchies, that ignoring rounding operators and integer constraints in formulae derived from the discrete model can be a valid approximation, when hierarchies are suitably large. This is made precise by bounds on the relative errors of the approximations.
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 EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 9503001.
Date of creation: 24 Mar 1995
Date of revision: 16 Dec 1997
Note: Published in Rand Journal of Economics, 26:575-590, 1995. (Contact author for a hard copy.)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://184.108.40.206
Other versions of this item:
- Timothy Van Zandt, 1995. "Continuous Approximations in the Study of Hierarchies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 26(4), pages 575-590, Winter.
- D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
- D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
- D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
- D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Meagher, Kieron J., 2003. "Generalizing incentives and loss of control in an optimal hierarchy: the role of information technology," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 273-280, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.