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When do groups perform better than individuals? A company takeover experiment

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  • Marco Casari
  • Jingjing Zhang
  • Christine Jackson

Abstract

It is still an open question when groups perform better than individuals in intellectual tasks. We report that in a company takeover experiment, groups placed better bids than individuals and substantially reduced the winner’s curse. This improvement was mostly due to peer pressure over the minority opinion and to learning. Learning took place from interacting and negotiating consensus with others, not simply from observing their bids. When there was disagreement, what prevailed was not the best proposal but the one of the majority. Groups underperformed with respect to a “truth wins” benchmark although they outperformed individuals deciding in isolation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 504.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision: Apr 2012
Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:504

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Keywords: Winner’s curse; takeover game; group decision making; communication; experiments;

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  1. Ball, Sheryl B. & Bazerman, Max H. & Carroll, John S., 1991. "An evaluation of learning in the bilateral winner's curse," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-22, February.
  2. Reinhard Selten & Klaus Abbink & Ricarda Cox, 2005. "Learning Direction Theory and the Winner’s Curse," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 5-20, April.
  3. Holt, Charles A & Sherman, Roger, 1994. "The Loser's Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 642-52, June.
  4. Brit Grosskopf & Yoella Bereby-Meyer & Max Bazerman, 2007. "On the Robustness of the Winner’s Curse Phenomenon," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 389-418, December.
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Cited by:
  1. David J. Cooper & Matthias Sutter, 2011. "Role selection and team performance," Working Papers 2011-14, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  2. Jingjing Zhang, 2012. "Communication in asymmetric group competition over public goods," ECON - Working Papers 069, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  3. Thomas Stöckl & Jürgen Huber & Michael Kirchler & Florian Lindner, 2013. "Hot Hand Belief and Gambler's Fallacy in Teams: Evidence from Investment Experiments," Working Papers 2013-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  4. Frans van Dijk & Joep H. Sonnemans & Ed Bauw, 2012. "Judicial Error by Groups and Individuals," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-029/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Kugler, Tamar & Kausel, E.E. & Kocher, Martin G., 2012. "Are groups more rational than individuals? A review of interactive decision making in groups," Munich Reprints in Economics 18215, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Jeanette Brosid-Koch & Timo Heinrich & Christoph Helbach, 2013. "Does Truth Win When Teams Reason Strategically?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0396, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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