August 2010

IZA DP No. 5105: Teams Make You Smarter: Learning and Knowledge Transfer in Auctions and Markets by Teams and Individuals

revised version published as 'Teams make you smarter: How exposure to teams improves individual decisions in probability and reasoning tasks' in: Management Science, 2013, 59 (6), 1255-1270

We study the impact of team decision making on market behavior and its consequences for subsequent individual performance in the Wason selection task, the single-most studied reasoning task. We reformulated the task in terms of "assets" in a market context. Teams of traders learn the task’s solution faster than individuals and achieve this with weaker, less specific, performance feedback. Some teams even perform better than the best individuals. The experience of team decision-making in the market also creates positive knowledge spillovers for post-market individual performance in solving new Wason tasks, implying that team experiences enhance individual problem-solving skills.