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Disclosure to a Credulous Audience: The Role of Limited Attention

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  • Hirshleifer, David
  • Lim, Sonya S.
  • Teoh, Siew Hong

Abstract

In our model, informed players decide whether or not to disclose, and observers allocate attention among disclosed signals, and toward reasoning through the implications of a failure to disclose. In equilibrium disclosure is incomplete, and observers are unrealistically optimistic. Nevertheless, regulation requiring greater disclosure can reduce observers' belief accuracies and welfare. A stronger tendency to neglect disclosed signals increases disclosure, whereas a stronger tendency to neglect failures to disclose reduces disclosure. Observer beliefs are influenced by the salience of disclosed signals, and disclosure in one arena can crowd out disclosure in other fundamentally unrelated arenas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5198.

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Date of creation: 11 Oct 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5198

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Keywords: disclosure; disclosure regulation; limited attention; credulity;

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References

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  1. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 1998. "The Many Faces of Information Disclosure," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 80, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Radner, Roy & Rothschild, Michael, 1975. "On the allocation of effort," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 358-376, June.
  3. Bernard, Victor L. & Thomas, Jacob K., 1990. "Evidence that stock prices do not fully reflect the implications of current earnings for future earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 305-340, December.
  4. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2003. "Limited attention, information disclosure, and financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-3), pages 337-386, December.
  5. Loughran, Tim & Ritter, Jay R, 1995. " The New Issues Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 23-51, March.
  6. 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.
  7. Ikenberry, David & Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1995. "Market underreaction to open market share repurchases," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 181-208.
  8. Mathios, Alan D, 2000. "The Impact of Mandatory Disclosure Laws on Product Choices: An Analysis of the Salad Dressing Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 651-77, October.
  9. Peter Klibanoff & Owen Lamont & Thierry A. Wizman, . "Investor Reaction to Salient News in Closed-End Country Funds," CRSP working papers 346, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  10. Ho, Thomas S. Y. & Michaely, Roni, 1988. "Information Quality and Market Efficiency," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 53-70, March.
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  13. Gifford, Sharon & Wilson, Charles A, 1995. "A Model of Project Evaluation with Limited Attention," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 67-78, January.
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  15. Read, Daniel & Loewenstein, George & Rabin, Matthew, 1999. "Choice Bracketing," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 171-97, December.
  16. Daniel, Kent & Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2002. "Investor psychology in capital markets: evidence and policy implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 139-209, January.
  17. Gifford, Sharon, 1992. "Allocation of entrepreneurial attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 265-284, December.
  18. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David Isaac & Moloche, Guillermo & Stephen, Weinberg, 2003. "The allocation of attention: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 47339, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Fishman, Michael J & Hagerty, Kathleen M, 1989. " Disclosure Decisions by Firms and the Competition for Price Efficienc y," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 633-46, July.
  20. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2002. "The 6D Bias and the Equity Premium Puzzle," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1947, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Arnoud W.A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 2003. "Disagreement and Flexibility: A Theory of Optimal Security Issuance and Capital Structure," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-001/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  2. Lin Peng & Wei Xiong, 2005. "Investor Attention: Overconfidence and Category Learning," NBER Working Papers 11400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Hirshleifer & KEWEI HOU & Siew Hong Teoh & YINGLEI ZHANG, 2004. "Do Investors Overvalue Firms With Bloated Balance Sheets?," Finance 0412001, EconWPA.
  4. Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2001. "Herd Behavior and Cascading in Capital Markets: A Review and Synthesis," MPRA Paper 5186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Falkinger, Josef, 2005. "Limited Attention as the Scarce Resource in an Information-Rich Economy," IZA Discussion Papers 1538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan, 2003. "The Economic Value of Flexibility When There is Disagreement," CEPR Discussion Papers 3709, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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