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Exploring a Branching Structure: A Bandit Problem with Correlated Pay-offs


  • Alison Hole
  • Godfrey Keller


This paper presents a model of a search process for the best outcome of many multi-stage projects. The branching structure of the search environment is such that the pay-offs to various actions are correlated; nevertheless, it is shown that the optimal strategy is given by a simple reservation price rule. A simple model of R&D is provided as an example.

Suggested Citation

  • Alison Hole & Godfrey Keller, 1994. "Exploring a Branching Structure: A Bandit Problem with Correlated Pay-offs," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 279, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:stitep:279

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. J. Michael Harrison & Michael I. Taksar, 1983. "Instantaneous Control of Brownian Motion," Mathematics of Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 8(3), pages 439-453, August.
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    6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
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    9. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
    10. M. L. Weitzman, 1970. "Optimal Growth with Scale Economies in the Creation of Overhead Capital," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(4), pages 555-570.
    11. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
    12. McDonald, Robert L & Siegel, Daniel R, 1985. "Investment and the Valuation of Firms When There Is an Option to Shut Down," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 331-349, June.
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