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American Economic Review: Vol. 99 No. 4 (September 2009)

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Decentralized Organizational Learning: An Experimental Investigation

Article Citation

Blume, Andreas, John Duffy, and April M. Franco. 2009. "Decentralized Organizational Learning: An Experimental Investigation." American Economic Review, 99(4): 1178-1205.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1178

Abstract

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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Authors

Blume, Andreas (U Pittsburgh)
Duffy, John (U Pittsburgh)
Franco, April M. (U Toronto)

JEL Classifications

C72: Noncooperative Games
D23: Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
D83: Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief


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