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Barking up the right tree: Are small groups rational agents?

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  • James Cox

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  • Stephen Hayne

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Abstract

Both mainstream economics and its critics have focused on models of individual rational agents even though most important decisions are made by small groups. Little systematic work has been done to study the behavior of small groups as decision-making agents in markets and other strategic games. This may limit the relevance of both economics and its critics to the objective of developing an understanding of how most important decisions are made. In order to gain some insight into this issue, this paper compares group and individual economic behavior. The objective of the research is to learn whether there are systematic differences between decisions made by groups and individual agents in market environments characterized by risky outcomes. A quantitative measure of deviation from minimally-rational decisions is used to compare group and individual behavior in common value auctions. Copyright Economic Science Association 2006

Suggested Citation

  • James Cox & Stephen Hayne, 2006. "Barking up the right tree: Are small groups rational agents?," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(3), pages 209-222, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:9:y:2006:i:3:p:209-222
    DOI: 10.1007/s10683-006-9123-3
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10683-006-9123-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael J. Alderson & Brian L. Betker, 1999. "Assessing Postbankruptcy Performance: An Analysis of Reorganized Firms' Cash Flows," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 28(2), Summer.
    2. Kagel, John H, et al, 1989. "First-Price Common Value Auctions: Bidder Behavior and the "Winner's Curse."," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 27(2), pages 241-258, April.
    3. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
    4. Hoffman, Elizabeth & Marsden, James R. & Saidi, Reza, 1991. "Are joint bidding and competitive common value auction markets compatible?--some evidence from offshore oil auctions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 99-112, March.
    5. Allan C. Eberhart & Edward I. Altman & Reena Aggarwal, 1999. "The Equity Performance of Firms Emerging from Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1855-1868, October.
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    Keywords

    Rationality; Groups; Auctions; Experiments;

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