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Limited attention and status quo bias

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  • Dean, Mark
  • Kıbrıs, Özgür
  • Masatlioglu, Yusufcan

Abstract

We introduce and axiomatically characterize a model of status quo bias in which the status quo affects choices by both imposing psychological constraints and focusing attention. The resulting Limited Attention Status Quo Bias model can explain both the findings that status quo bias is more prevalent in larger choice sets and that the introduction of a status quo can change choices between non-status quo alternatives. Existing models of status quo bias are inconsistent with the former finding while models of decision avoidance are inconsistent with the latter. We show that the interaction of the two effects has important economic implications, and report the results of laboratory experiments which show that both attention and psychological constraints are necessary to explain the impact of status quo on choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Dean, Mark & Kıbrıs, Özgür & Masatlioglu, Yusufcan, 2017. "Limited attention and status quo bias," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 93-127.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:169:y:2017:i:c:p:93-127
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2017.01.009
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    2. Yuta Inoue & Koji Shirai, 2018. "Limited consideration and limited data: revealed preference tests and observable restrictions," Discussion Paper Series 176, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Mar 2018.
    3. Gerasimou, Georgios & Papi, Mauro, 2015. "Oligopolistic Competition with Choice-Overloaded Consumers," MPRA Paper 68509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bouton, Laurent & Llorente-Saguer, Aniol & Malherbe, Frédéric, 2017. "Unanimous rules in the laboratory," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 179-198.
    5. Jae-Do Song & Young-Hwan Ahn, 2019. "Cognitive Bias in Emissions Trading," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(5), pages 1-13, March.
    6. Leković Milјan, 2020. "Cognitive Biases as an Integral Part of Behavioral Finance," Economic Themes, Sciendo, vol. 58(1), pages 75-96, March.
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    8. Qin, Dan, 2021. "Exclusive shortlisting choice with reference," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    9. Kovach, Matthew, 0. "Twisting the truth: foundations of wishful thinking," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society.
    10. Muller, Paul & Habla, Wolfgang, 2018. "Experimental and non-experimental evidence on limited attention and present bias at the gym," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-041, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    11. Kupor, Daniella & Reich, Taly & Laurin, Kristin, 2018. "The (bounded) benefits of correction: The unanticipated interpersonal advantages of making and correcting mistakes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 165-178.
    12. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Elchin Suleymanov, 2021. "Decision making within a product network," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 71(1), pages 185-209, February.
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    14. Yuta Inoue & Koji Shirai, 2018. "Limited consideration and limited data: revealed preference tests and observable restrictions," Discussion Paper Series 176-2, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Aug 2019.
    15. Andrew Ellis & Yusufcan Masatlioglu, 2020. "Choice with Endogenous Categorization," Papers 2005.05196, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    16. Yuta Inoue & Koji Shirai, 2020. "On the observable restrictions of limited consideration models: theory and application," Discussion Paper Series 217, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University.
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    18. Atasoy, Ayse Tugba & Madlener, Reinhard, 2020. "Default vs. Active Choices: An Experiment on Electricity Tariff Switching," FCN Working Papers 7/2020, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    19. Gerasimou, Georgios & Papi, Mauro, 2018. "Duopolistic competition with choice-overloaded consumers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 330-353.
    20. Gleb Koshevoy & Ernesto Savaglio, 2017. "Enveloped choice functions and path-independent rationality," Department of Economics University of Siena 765, Department of Economics, University of Siena.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Status quo bias; Reference dependence; Attention; Revealed preference;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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