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Decentralized Organizational Learning: An Experimental Investigation

  • Andreas Blume
  • John Duffy
  • April Mitchell Franco

We experimentally study decentralized organizational learning. Our objective is to understand how learning members of an organization cope with the confounding effects of the simultaneous learning of others. We test the predictions of a stylized, rational agent model of organizational learning that provides sharp predictions as to how learning members of an organization might cope with the simultaneous learning of others as a function of fundamental variables, e.g., firm size and the discount factor. While the problem of learning while others are learning is quite difficult, we find support for the comparative static predictions of the model's unique symmetric equilibrium. (JEL C72, D23, D83)

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Paper provided by University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 382.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision: May 2009
Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:382
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  1. Blume, Andreas & Franco, April Mitchell, 2007. "Decentralized learning from failure," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 133(1), pages 504-523, March.
  2. Andreas Blume, 1998. "Coordination and Learning with a Partial Language," CIG Working Papers FS IV 98-11, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  3. 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.
  4. Stahl, Dale II & Wilson, Paul W., 1994. "Experimental evidence on players' models of other players," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 309-327, December.
  5. Patrick Bolton & Christopher Harris, 1999. "Strategic Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 349-374, March.
  6. Vincent P. Crawford & Miguel A. Costa-Gomes, 2006. "Cognition and Behavior in Two-Person Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1737-1768, December.
  7. Ho, Teck Hua & Weigelt, Keith & Camerer, Colin, 1996. "Iterated Dominance and Iterated Best-Response in Experimental P-Beauty Contests," Working Papers 974, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Andreas Blume & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Cognitive Forward Induction and Coordination without Common Knowledge: An Experimental Study," Working Papers 346, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised May 2009.
  9. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  10. Costa-Gomes, Miguel & Crawford, Vincent P. & Broseta, Bruno, 1998. "Cognition and Behavior in Normal-Form Games: An Experimental Study," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt1vn4h7x5, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  11. Roberto A. Weber & Colin F. Camerer, 2003. "Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 400-415, April.
  12. North, Douglass C, 1994. "Economic Performance through Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 359-68, June.
  13. Crawford, Vincent P & Haller, Hans, 1990. "Learning How to Cooperate: Optimal Play in Repeated Coordination Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(3), pages 571-95, May.
  14. Pertti H. Lounamaa & James G. March, 1987. "Adaptive Coordination of a Learning Team," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(1), pages 107-123, January.
  15. R. Aumann, 2010. "Correlated Equilibrium as an expression of Bayesian Rationality," Levine's Bibliography 513, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Blume, Andreas & Gneezy, Uri, 1998. "An Experimental Investigation of Optimal Learning in Coordination Games," Working Papers 98-10, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  17. Nagel, Rosemarie, 1995. "Unraveling in Guessing Games: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1313-26, December.
  18. 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.
  19. Bhaskar, V., 2000. "Egalitarianism and Efficiency in Repeated Symmetric Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 247-262, August.
  20. Dale O. Stahl & Paul W. Wilson, 2010. "On Players' Models of Other Players: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 542, David K. Levine.
  21. Colin F. Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho & Juin-Kuan Chong, 2004. "A Cognitive Hierarchy Model of Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 861-898, August.
  22. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  23. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
  24. Blume, Andreas & DeJong, Douglas V. & Kim, Yong-Gwan & Sprinkle, Geoffrey B., 1997. "Evolution of Communication with Partial Common Interest," Working Papers 97-18, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  25. Thomas Wiseman, 2005. "A Partial Folk Theorem for Games with Unknown Payoff Distributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 629-645, 03.
  26. Andreas Blume & Douglas V. DeJong & George R. Neumann & N. E. Savin, 2002. "Learning and communication in sender-receiver games: an econometric investigation," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 225-247.
  27. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1991. "Comments on the Interpretation of Game Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 909-24, July.
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