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Competing for Attention: Is the Showiest also the Best?

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  • Paola Manzini

    ()
    (University of St Andrews and IZA)

  • Marco Mariotti

    ()
    (University of St Andrews)

Abstract

We introduce attention games. Alternatives ranked by quality (producers, politicians, sexual partners...) desire to be chosen and compete for the imperfect attention of a chooser by investing in their own salience. We prove that if alternatives can control the attention they get, then "the showiest is the best": the equilibrium ordering of salience (weakly) reproduces the quality ranking and the best alternative is the one that gets picked most often. This result also holds under more general conditions. However, if those conditions fail, then even the worst alternative can be picked most often.

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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 201403.

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Date of creation: 08 Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:1403

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Keywords: Consideration sets; bounded rationality; stochastic choice;

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  1. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2006. "Consideration Sets and Competitive Marketing," MPRA Paper 21434, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 03 Sep 2009.
  2. Babin, Barry J & Darden, William R & Griffin, Mitch, 1994. " Work and/or Fun: Measuring Hedonic and Utilitarian Shopping Value," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 644-56, March.
  3. Spiegler, Ran & Eliaz, Kfir, 2011. "On the strategic use of attention grabbers," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
  4. Michelle Sovinsky Goeree, 2005. "Advertising in the US Personal Computer Industry," Industrial Organization 0503002, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
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