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How to Count to One Thousand

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  • Sobel, Joel

Abstract

An agent must verify that n objects are present. While counting, the agent might lose track and need to start over. The scheme that minimizes the expected counting time involves several layers in which objects are grouped into stacks, which are grouped into stacks of stacks, and so on. The size of each division depends only on the probability of making a mistake; the number of levels in the process increases with the logarithm of the size of the task. Variations on the model are introduced to investigate the optimal size of an organization employing presence of error-prone workers. Copyright 1992 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Sobel, Joel, 1992. "How to Count to One Thousand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 1-8, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:102:y:1992:i:410:p:1-8
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    Cited by:

    1. Booth, Alison L & Zoega, Gylfi, 2002. "If You're so Smart, Why Aren't You Rich? Wage Inequality with Heterogenous Workers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3190, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Yoko Asuyama & Hideaki Goto, 2016. "Negative Skill Sorting across Production Chains," Working Papers EMS_2016_04, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    3. Alison L Booth & Gylfi Zoega, 2005. "Worker Heterogeneity, Intra-firm Externalities and Wage Compression," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0515, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
    4. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
    5. Soo, Kwok Tong, 2017. "Indivisibilities in the Ricardian model of trade," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 311-317.
    6. Massimo Egidi, 1995. "Virtuous and Adverse selection within Economic Organizations," CEEL Working Papers 9502, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    7. Massimo Egidi & Luigi Marengo, 1995. "Division of Labour and Social Coordination Modes. A simple simulation model," CEEL Working Papers 9501, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    8. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    9. Asuyama, Yoko & Goto, Hideaki, 2016. "Negative skill sorting across production chains," IDE Discussion Papers 557, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    10. Yuan Zi, 2014. "Trade Costs, Global Value Chains and Economic Development," CTEI Working Papers series 06-2014, Centre for Trade and Economic Integration, The Graduate Institute.
    11. Eyal Winter, 2001. "Scapegoats and Optimal Allocation of Responsibility," Discussion Paper Series dp266, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    12. Joshua S. Gans, 2018. "Self-Regulating Artificial General Intelligence," NBER Working Papers 24352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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