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The power of diversity over large solution spaces

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  • Marco LiCalzi

    () (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia)

  • Oktay Surucu

    () (Dept. of Economics and Business, LUISS Roma)

Abstract

We consider a team of agents with limited problem-solving ability facing a disjunctive task over a large solution space. We provide sufficient conditions for the following four statements. First, two heads are better than one: a team of two agents will solve the problem even if neither agent alone would be able to. Second, teaming up does not guarantee success: if the agents are not sufficiently creative, even a team of arbitrary size may fail to solve the problem. Third, "defendit numerus": when the agent's problem-solving ability is adversely affected by the complexity of the solution space, the solution of the problem requires only a mild increase in the size of the team. Fourth, groupthink impairs the power of diversity: if agents' abilities are positively correlated, a larger team is necessary to solve the problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco LiCalzi & Oktay Surucu, 2011. "The power of diversity over large solution spaces," Working Papers 206, Department of Applied Mathematics, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, revised Sep 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:vnm:wpaper:206
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John A Weymark, 2014. "Cognitive Diversity, Binary Decisions, and Epistemic Democracy," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00008, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    2. Collevecchio, Andrea & LiCalzi, Marco, 2012. "The probability of nontrivial common knowledge," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 556-570.
    3. Daniels, David P. & Neale, Margaret A. & Greer, Lindred L., 2017. "Spillover bias in diversity judgment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 92-105.
    4. Meagher, Kieron & Prasad, Suraj, 2016. "Career concerns and team talent," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 1-17.
    5. Marco LiCalzi & Lucia Milone, 2012. "Talent management in triadic organizational architectures," Working Papers 4, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Problem-solving; Bounded rationality; Theory of teams; Groupthink.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • C65 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Miscellaneous Mathematical Tools

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