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Organizational Economics with Cognitive Costs

  • Garicano, Luis
  • Prat, Andrea

Organizational economics has advanced along two parallel tracks, one concerned with motivating agents with diverging objectives, the other--less developed--with coordinating agents under cognitive limits. This survey focuses on the second strand and attempts to bring the two strands together. Organizations are viewed as responses to the cognitive costs faced by their (potential) members. We review existing approaches such as team theory, hierarchies of processors, organizational languages and knowledge hierarchies and we argue that they can help us address an array of important organizational issues. We also review recent developments in the application of these ideas: exploiting complexity measures, combining team theory and contract theory, applying organization theories in labor economics, and using these theories to interpret the wealth of activity data that is becoming available.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8372.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8372
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  1. Kristóf Madarász & Andrea Prat, 2010. "Screening with an Approximate Type Space," STICERD - Theoretical Economics Paper Series 548, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  2. Brynjolfsson, Erik. & Hitt, Lorin M., 1995. "Paradox lost? : firm-level evidence on the returns to information systems spending," Working papers 3786-95., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  3. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1995. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 324-324, December.
  4. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408, November.
  5. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jacques Cremer & Luis Garicano & Andrea Prat, 2006. "Language and the Theory of the Firm," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000373, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Ignacio Palacios-Huerta & Oscar Volij, 2002. "The Measurement of Intellectual Influence," Economic theory and game theory 015, Oscar Volij.
  8. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
  9. Nicholas Bloom & Luis Garicano & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2009. "The distinct effects of Information Technology and Communication Technology on firm organization," NBER Working Papers 14975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jacques Cremer, 1980. "A Partial Theory of the Optimal Organization of a Bureaucracy," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 683-693, Autumn.
  11. Mathias Dewatripont & Jean Tirole, 2005. "Modes of communication," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9631, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Prat, Andrea, 2002. "Should a team be homogeneous?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1187-1207, July.
  13. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1973. "The Design of Mechanisms for Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 1-30, May.
  14. Crémer, Jacques & Garicano, Luis & Prat, Andrea, 2003. "Codes in Organizations," IDEI Working Papers 172, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Feb 2005.
  15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
  16. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
  17. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435, November.
  18. Van Zandt, Timothy, 1999. "Real-Time Decentralized Information Processing as a Model of Organizations with Boundedly Rational Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(3), pages 633-58, July.
  19. Palacios-Huerta, Ignacio & Prat, Andrea, 2010. "Measuring the Impact Factor of Agents within an Organization Using Communication Patterns," CEPR Discussion Papers 8040, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Dow, James, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, January.
  21. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  22. repec:cep:stitep:/2010/548 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Prat, Andrea & de Martí, Joan & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni, 2015. "Communication and influence," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 10(2), May.
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