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Attention Manipulation and Information Overload

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  • Persson, Petra

    ()
    (Stanford University)

Abstract

When a decision-maker’s attention is limited, her decisions depend on what she focuses on. This gives interested parties an incentive to manipulate not only the substance of communication but also the decision-maker’s attention allocation. This paper models such attention manipulation. In its presence, competitive information supply can reduce the decision-maker’s knowledge by causing information overload. Further, a single information provider may deliberately induce information overload to conceal information. These findings, pertinent to consumer protection, suggest a role for rules that restrict communication, mandate not only the content but also the format of disclosure, and regulate product design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 995.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0995

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Related research

Keywords: Communication; Information Overload; Limited Attention; Persuasion; Disclosure; Complexity; Consumer Protection; Salience;

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References

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  1. Alonso, Ricardo & Dessein, Wouter & Matouschek, Niko, 2006. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5802, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  3. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U.S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728, 05.
  4. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2004. "Comparative Cheap Talk," Working Papers 2004-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  5. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  6. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  7. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
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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. Johannes Abeler & Simon Jäger, 2013. "Complex Tax Incentives - An Experimental Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4231, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2013. "Cognitive Load and Strategic Sophistication," MPRA Paper 47997, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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