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Experimental evidence on rational inattention

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  • Anton Cheremukhin
  • Anna Popova
  • Antonella Tutino

Abstract

We show that rational inattention theory of Sims (2003) provides a rationalization of choice models à la Luce and gives a structural interpretation to probability curvature parameters as reflecting costs of processing information. We use data from a behavioral experiment to show that people behave according to predictions of the theory. We estimate attitudes to risk and costs of information for individual participants and document overwhelming heterogeneity in these parameters among a relatively homogeneous sample of people. We characterize, both theoretically and empirically, the aggregation biases this heterogeneity implies and find these biases to be substantial.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Working Papers with number 1112.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1112

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Keywords: Risk management ; Econometrics;

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  1. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-026, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Mirko Wiederholt, 2010. "rational inattention," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  3. Daniel G. Goldstein & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2011. "The beauty of simple models: Themes in recognition heuristic research," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(5), pages 392-395, July.
  4. Barbera, Salvador & Pattanaik, Prasanta K, 1986. "Falmagne and the Rationalizability of Stochastic Choices in Terms of Random Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 707-15, May.
  5. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
  6. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-89, November.
  7. Antonella Tutino, 2010. "Rationally inattentive macroeconomic wedges," Working Papers 1005, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  8. Cramer,J. S., 2003. "Logit Models from Economics and Other Fields," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521815888.
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Cited by:
  1. Abeler, Johannes & Jäger, Simon, 2013. "Complex Tax Incentives: An Experimental Investigation," IZA Discussion Papers 7373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2012. "Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets," IZA Discussion Papers 6905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Michael Woodford, 2014. "Stochastic Choice: An Optimizing Neuroeconomic Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 495-500, May.
  4. Goecke, Henry & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Roos, Michael W.M., 2013. "Rational inattentiveness in a forecasting experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 80-89.
  5. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2014. "Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition," NBER Working Papers 19876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Michael Woodford, 2014. "An Optimizing Neuroeconomic Model of Discrete Choice," NBER Working Papers 19897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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