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Maintaining efficiency while integrating entrants from lower-performing groups: an experimental study

  • Timothy C. Salmon
  • Roberto A. Weber

Efficiently growing a group or firm often requires integration of individuals from lower-performing entities. We explore the effectiveness of two policies intended to facilitate such integration, using a laboratory experiment that models production as a coordination game with Pareto-ranked equilibria. We initially create an efficient group and an inefficient one. We then allow individuals to move into the high-performing group and vary by treatment whether movement is unrestricted, limited to one entrant per period, or subject to an entry exam. We include two additional treatments that combine the two restrictions in different ways to help understand why the institutions are effective in maintaining coordination. We find that both restrictions work to maintain efficient coordination but they are effective for different reasons.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics - University of Zurich in its series ECON - Working Papers with number 035.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision: Jul 2014
Handle: RePEc:zur:econwp:035
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  1. John B Van Huyck & Raymond C Battalio & Richard O Beil, 1997. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1225, David K. Levine.
  2. Kunreuther, Howard & Heal, Geoffrey, 2003. " Interdependent Security," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 26(2-3), pages 231-49, March-May.
  3. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2006. "A Change Would Do You Good .... An Experimental Study on How to Overcome Coordination Failure in Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 669-693, June.
  4. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  5. Card, David, 2004. "Is the New Immigration Really So Bad?," IZA Discussion Papers 1119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Rachel M. Friedberg, 2001. "The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1373-1408.
  7. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  8. Roberto A. Weber, 2006. "Managing Growth to Achieve Efficient Coordination in Large Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 114-126, March.
  9. T. K. Ahn & R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon, 2008. "Endogenous Group Formation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 171-194, 04.
  10. Ahn, T.K. & Isaac, R. Mark & Salmon, Timothy C., 2009. "Coming and going: Experiments on endogenous group sizes for excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 336-351, February.
  11. Ortega, Francesc, 2005. "Immigration quotas and skill upgrading," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1841-1863, September.
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