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Imperfect Attention and Menu Evaluations

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  • Manzini, Paola
  • Mariotti, Marco

Abstract

We model the choice behaviour of an agent who suffers from imperfect attention but is otherwise von Neumann Morgenstern rational. We define inattention axiomatically through preference over menus and endowed alternatives: an agent is inattentive if it is better to be endowed with an alternative a than to be allowed to pick a from a menu in which a is is the best alternative. This property and vNM rationality on the domain of menus and alternatives imply that the agent notices each alternative with a given menu-dependent probability (attention parameter) and maximises a menu independent utility function over the alternatives he notices. Preference for flexibility restricts the model to menu independent attention parameters as in Manzini and Mariotti [17]. Our theory explains anomalies (e.g. the attraction effect) that other prominent stochastic choice theories cannot accommodate.

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Paper provided by Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE) in its series SIRE Discussion Papers with number 2013-98.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:523

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Keywords: bounded rationality; stochastic choicens;

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  1. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2013. "The price of flexibility: Towards a theory of Thinking Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 903-934.
  2. Huber, Joel & Payne, John W & Puto, Christopher, 1982. " Adding Asymmetrically Dominated Alternatives: Violations of Regularity and the Similarity Hypothesis," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 90-98, June.
  3. Huber, Joel & Puto, Christopher, 1983. " Market Boundaries and Product Choice: Illustrating Attraction and Substitution Effects," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(1), pages 31-44, June.
  4. Mattsson, Lars-Goran & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2002. "Probabilistic choice and procedurally bounded rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 61-78, October.
  5. Salvador Barberà & Birgit Grodal, 2003. "Preference for Flexibility and the Opportunities of Choice," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 598.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  6. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  7. David S. Ahn & Todd Sarver, 2013. "Preference for Flexibility and Random Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 341-361, 01.
  8. Piccione, Michele & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1997. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, July.
  9. Clark, Stephen A., 1995. "Indecisive choice theory," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 155-170, October.
  10. Haluk Ergin & Todd Sarver, 2010. "A Unique Costly Contemplation Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1285-1339, 07.
  11. Elena Reutskaja & Rosemarie Nagel & Colin F. Camerer & Antonio Rangel, 2011. "Search Dynamics in Consumer Choice under Time Pressure: An Eye-Tracking Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 900-926, April.
  12. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  13. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2008. "The Price of Flexibility: Towards a Theory of Thinking Aversion," MPRA Paper 12242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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