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Nonlinear Effects of Superstar Collaboration: Why the Beatles Succeeded but Broke Up


  • Tadashi Yagi


This paper examines the knowledge creation process that takes place in a group of superstar innovators. How does a superstar innovator influence the generation of knowledge in a team? In particular, does the effect increase nonlinearly as the number of talented team members increases? We explore these questions by considering the success and subsequent breakup of the Beatles, one of the most popular music groups in history. Through a mathematical analysis for exploring the fundamental mechanism of the breakup and its implications for superstar collaborations, we show that the breakup was an inevitable consequence of the superstar collaboration.

Suggested Citation

  • Tadashi Yagi, 2015. "Nonlinear Effects of Superstar Collaboration: Why the Beatles Succeeded but Broke Up," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 103-111, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:rfa:aefjnl:v:2:y:2015:i:2:p:103-111

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. 311 – 148 Beatles’ Albums Ranked
      by David Pannell in Pannell Discussions on 2018-01-04 21:00:22

    More about this item


    Superstar collaboration; Beatles; knowledge; bread up; dynamic optimization;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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