Collective Progress: Dynamics of Exit Waves
44 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 30, 2021
We study a model of collective search by teams. Discoveries beget discoveries and correlated search results are governed by a Brownian path. Search results' variation at any point---the search scope---is jointly controlled. Agents individually choose when to cease search and implement their best discovery. We characterize equilibrium and optimal policies. Search scope is constant and independent of search outcomes as long as no member leaves. It declines after departures. A simple drawdown stopping boundary governs each agent’s search termination. We show the emergence of endogenous exit waves, whereby possibly heterogeneous agents cease search all at once.
Keywords: Retrospective Search, Optimal Stopping, Collective Action, Exit Waves
JEL Classification: C73, D81, D83, O35
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