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Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition

Listed author(s):
  • Andrew Caplin
  • Mark Dean

Apparently mistaken decisions are ubiquitous. To what extent does this reflect irrationality, as opposed to a rational trade-off between the costs of information acquisition and the expected benefits of learning? We develop a revealed preference test that characterizes all patterns of choice "mistakes" consistent with a general model of optimal costly information acquisition and identify the extent to which information costs can be recovered from choice data. (JEL D11, D81, D83)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 105 (2015)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 2183-2203

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:7:p:2183-2203
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20140117
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  1. Andrew Caplin & Daniel Martin, 2015. "A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(582), pages 184-202, 02.
  2. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  3. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen, 2011. "The Revealed Preference Approach to Collective Consumption Behaviour: Testing and Sharing Rule Recovery," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 176-198.
  4. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2013. "Behavioral Implications of Rational Inattention with Shannon Entropy," NBER Working Papers 19318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
  6. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
  7. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  8. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  9. Babur De Los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "Testing Models of Consumer Search Using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2955-2980, October.
  10. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2014. "Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 1153-1176, 05.
  11. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2011. "Search and Satisficing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2899-2922, December.
  12. Varian, Hal R, 1984. "The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 579-597, May.
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  14. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2009. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1187-1215, 06.
  15. Anton A. Cheremukhin & Anna Popova & Antonella Tutino, 2011. "Experimental evidence on rational inattention," Working Papers 1112, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  16. Timothy K. M. Beatty & Ian A. Crawford, 2011. "How Demanding Is the Revealed Preference Approach to Demand?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2782-2795, October.
  17. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  18. Ian Crawford, 2010. "Habits Revealed," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1382-1402.
  19. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
  20. Geoffroy de Clippel & Kareen Rozen, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets: Testable Implications, Identifiability, and Out-of-Sample Prediction," Working Papers 2012-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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