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Modelling Experience as Signal Accumulation

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  • Sgroi, D.

Abstract

Experience gained in a workplace characterised by decision-making and learning-by-doing is modelled via a process of signal accumulation under several different frameworks. We initially look at the probability of success based on uninterrupted signal accumulation, then consider the impact of rapid labour turnover under two alternative regimes. The first allows new workers to gain some of their predecessor’s experience through Bayesian inference on reported earlier actions. The means of information transfer between workers is therefore similar to observational learning in herding or informational cascade models. The second regime considers all experience to be lost when a worker is replaced. We see that although with valuable experience the first regime appears a much better outcome for firms, transferring some knowledge to future workers carries with it the risk of excess inertia in decision-making.

Suggested Citation

  • Sgroi, D., 2002. "Modelling Experience as Signal Accumulation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0205, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Margaret A. Meyer, 1991. "Learning from Coarse Information: Biased Contests and Career Profiles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 15-41.
    2. David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2002. "An Economic Approach to the Psychology of Change: Amnesia, Inertia, and Impulsiveness," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 379-421, September.
    3. Sgroi, Daniel, 2002. "Optimizing Information in the Herd: Guinea Pigs, Profits, and Welfare," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 137-166, April.
    4. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
    5. D. Sgroi, 2001. "Controlling the Herd: Applications of Herding Theory," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0106, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    6. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    herding; private information; experience; labour turnover; excess inertia;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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