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Simple Market Equilibria with Rationally Inattentive Consumers

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  • Filip Matejka
  • Alisdair McKay

Abstract

We study a market with rationally inattentive consumers who are unsure of the terms of the offers made by firms, but can acquire information about the terms at a cost. In a symmetric equilibrium, the price set by firms is continuously increasing in the cost of information for consumers and decreasing in the number of firms operating. In addition, favorable a priori information about a firm leads it to set a higher price, and a new entrant can increase demand for incumbents. When consumers have heterogeneous costs of information, firms selling low-quality products may choose to set the highest prices.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.102.3.24
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 102 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 24-29

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:102:y:2012:i:3:p:24-29

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References

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  1. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," 2011 Meeting Papers 535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  3. Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Glenn Ellison & Alexander Wolitzky, 2009. "A Search Cost Model of Obfuscation," NBER Working Papers 15237, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  6. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-77, November.
  7. Christopher A. Sims, 2006. "Rational Inattention: Beyond the Linear-Quadratic Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 158-163, May.
  8. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Competition for Attention," NBER Working Papers 19076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Luo, Yulei & Young, Eric, 2013. "Rational Inattention in Macroeconomics: A Survey," MPRA Paper 54267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Vojtech Bartos & Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Filip Matejka, 2013. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp499, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.

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