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Buridanic competition

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  • Bachi, Benjamin
  • Spiegler, Ran

Abstract

We analyze a model of two-attribute competition for a decision maker who follows a non-compensatory choice procedure that only responds to ordinal rankings along the two dimensions. The decision maker has an outside option that functions as a default alternative. In the absence of a dominant alternative, the decision maker may stick to the default even if it is dominated – capturing the phenomenon of choice procrastination in the presence of difficult choices. We show that the prevalence of difficult-choice situations in equilibrium is related to the magnitude of the choice procrastination effect. In general, features of the choice procedure that are typically viewed as biases tend to “protect” the decision maker, in the sense that they encourage competitors to offer higher-value alternatives in equilibrium. We discuss the potential implications of this analysis for recent discussions of “default architecture”.

Suggested Citation

  • Bachi, Benjamin & Spiegler, Ran, 2018. "Buridanic competition," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 298-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:298-315
    DOI: 10.1016/j.geb.2017.10.024
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2018. "Shrouded attributes, consumer myopia and information suppression in competitive markets," Chapters,in: Handbook of Behavioral Industrial Organization, chapter 3, pages 40-74 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronayne, David & Brown, Gordon D.A., 2016. "Multi-Attribute Decision By Sampling : An Account Of The Attraction, Compromise And Similarity Effects," Economic Research Papers 269322, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    2. Ran Spiegler, 2015. "On the Equilibrium Effects of Nudging," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 389-416.
    3. Andreas Hefti & Shuo Liu, 2016. "Targeted information and limited attention," ECON - Working Papers 230, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2018.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:330-353 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Benjamin Bachi, 2016. "Competition with price similarities," Economic Theory Bulletin, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 4(2), pages 277-290, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade-off avoidance; Competition; Choice complexity; Default bias; Behavioral industrial organization; Multi-attribute products;

    JEL classification:

    • C79 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Other
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General

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