Theory and Decision

, Volume 87, Issue 1, pp 123–146 | Cite as

Is knowledge curse or blessing in pure coordination problems?

  • Swee-Hoon Chuah
  • Robert HoffmannEmail author
  • Jeremy Larner


Does greater knowledge help or hinder one’s ability to coordinate with others? While individual expertise can reveal a suitable focal point to converge on, ‘blissful’ ignorance may systematically bias decisions towards it through mere recognition. Our experiment finds in favour of the former possibility. Both specific and general knowledge are significantly associated with success in four of five coordination problems as well as over all. Our analysis suggests that more knowledgeable participants are better able to identify focal decision alternatives because (1) they are aware of more such alternatives and (2) possess more relevant information about each.


Coordination Information Curse of knowledge Focal points Recognition 


Supplementary material

11238_2019_9692_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (370 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 370 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Behavioural Business Lab, School of Economics, Finance and MarketingRMIT UniversityVictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUK

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