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Imperfect Attention and Menu Evaluation

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  • Paola Manzini

    ()
    (University of St Andrews and IZA)

  • Marco Mariotti

    ()
    (University of St Andrews)

Abstract

We model the choice behaviour of an agent who suffers from imperfect attention. 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 (2013). Our theory explains anomalies (e.g. the attraction and compromise effect) that the Random Utility Model cannot accommodate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews in its series Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics with number 201319.

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Date of creation: 21 Oct 2013
Date of revision: 25 Mar 2014
Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:1319

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Keywords: bounded rationality; stochastic choice;

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  1. Salvador Barberà & Birgit Grodal, 2003. "Preference for Flexibility and the Opportunities of Choice," Working Papers 2, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1995. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 324-324, December.
  3. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2008. "The Price of Flexibility: Towards a Theory of Thinking Aversion," MPRA Paper 12242, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Kreps, David M, 1979. "A Representation Theorem for "Preference for Flexibility"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 565-77, May.
  5. 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.
  6. David S. Ahn & Todd Sarver, 2013. "Preference for Flexibility and Random Choice," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(1), pages 341-361, 01.
  7. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  8. Clark, Stephen A., 1995. "Indecisive choice theory," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 155-170, October.
  9. Haluk Ergin & Todd Sarver, 2010. "A Unique Costly Contemplation Representation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1285-1339, 07.
  10. Ortoleva, Pietro, 2013. "The price of flexibility: Towards a theory of Thinking Aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(3), pages 903-934.
  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. 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.
  13. 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.
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