IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmsr/299.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Learning from failure

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Blume
  • April Franco

Abstract

We study decentralized learning in organizations. Decentralization is captured through a symmetry constraint on agents’ strategies. Among such attainable strategies, we solve for optimal and equilibrium strategies. We model the organization as a repeated game with imperfectly observable actions. A fixed but unknown subset of action profiles are successes and all other action profiles are failures. The game is played until either there is a success or the time horizon is reached. For any time horizon, including infinity, we demonstrate existence of optimal attainable strategies and show that they are Nash equilibria. For some time horizons, we can solve explicitly for the optimal attainable strategies and show uniqueness. The solution connects the learning behavior of agents to the fundamentals that characterize the organization: Agents in the organization respond more slowly to failure as the future becomes more important, the size of the organization increases and the probability of success decreases.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Blume & April Franco, 2002. "Learning from failure," Staff Report 299, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:299
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=877
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/SR/SR299.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bhaskar, V., 2000. "Egalitarianism and Efficiency in Repeated Symmetric Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-262, August.
    2. Blume, Andreas, et al, 1998. "Experimental Evidence on the Evolution of Meaning of Messages in Sender-Receiver Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1323-1340, December.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
    4. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David I & Maskin, Eric, 1994. "The Folk Theorem with Imperfect Public Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(5), pages 997-1039, September.
    5. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 359-368.
    6. Blume, Andreas, 2000. "Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 1-36, November.
    7. Ariel Rubinstein, 2000. "Economics and Language," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number lang1.
    8. Blume, Andreas & DeJong, Douglas V. & Kim, Yong-Gwan & Sprinkle, Geoffrey B., 2001. "Evolution of Communication with Partial Common Interest," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 79-120, October.
    9. 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.
    10. repec:pit:wpaper:346 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Drew Fudenberg & David Levine, 2008. "Subgame–Perfect Equilibria of Finite– and Infinite–Horizon Games," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: A Long-Run Collaboration On Long-Run Games, chapter 1, pages 3-20 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    12. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-595, May.
    13. Beckmann, Martin J., 1977. "Management production functions and the theory of the firm," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-18, February.
    14. Roy Radner, 1986. "Repeated Partnership Games with Imperfect Monitoring and No Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 43-57.
    15. Abhijit V. Banerjee, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817.
    16. Roy Radner & Roger Myerson & Eric Maskin, 1986. "An Example of a Repeated Partnership Game with Discounting and with Uniformly Inefficient Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(1), pages 59-69.
    17. Ariel Rubinstein, 2000. "Economics and Language," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number lang1.
    18. Roberto A. Weber & Colin F. Camerer, 2003. "Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 400-415.
    19. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1996. "Why Are Certain Properties of Binary Relations Relatively More Common in Natural Language?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 343-355, March.
    20. Michał Grajek, 2003. "Gender Pay Gap in Poland," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, pages 23-44.
    21. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-461, June.
    22. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
    23. E. F. Shawyer, 1998. "Editorial," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 105-105, January.
    24. Blume, Andreas & Gneezy, Uri, 2000. "An Experimental Investigation of Optimal Learning in Coordination Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 161-172, January.
    25. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-528, June.
    26. Ichiro Obara, 2000. "Private Strategy and Efficiency: Repeated Partnership Games Revisited," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1449, Econometric Society.
    27. Richard H. Day & E. Herbert Tinney, 1968. "How to Co-operate in Business without Really Trying: A Learning Model of Decentralized Decision Making," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 583-583.
    28. Radner, Roy, 1993. "The Organization of Decentralized Information Processing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(5), pages 1109-1146, September.
    29. Thomas Wiseman, 2005. "A Partial Folk Theorem for Games with Unknown Payoff Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 629-645, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cushman, Mike, 2001. "Action research in the UK construction industry - the B-hive project," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24748, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. repec:pit:wpaper:439 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Game theory;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:299. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jannelle Ruswick). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbmnus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.