Leadership

Complexity And Bounded Rationality In Individual Decision Problems

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Executive Summary

The author develops a model of endogenous bounded rationality due to search costs, arising implicitly from the decision problem's complexity. The decision maker is not required to know the entire structure of the problem when making choices. She can think ahead, through costly search, to reveal more of its details. However, the costs of search are not assumed exogenously; they are inferred from revealed preferences through choices. Thus, bounded rationality and its extent emerge endogenously: as problems become simpler or as the benefits of deeper search become larger relative to its costs, the choices more closely resemble those of a rational agent.

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