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Competition for Attention

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Bordalo
  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We present a model of market competition in which consumers' attention is drawn to the products' most salient attributes. Firms compete for consumer attention via their choices of quality and price. Strategic positioning of a product affects how all other products are perceived. With this attention externality, depending on the cost of producing quality some markets exhibit "commoditized" price salient equilibria, while others exhibit "de-commoditized" quality salient equilibria. When the costs of quality change, innovation can lead to radical shifts in markets, as in the case of decommoditization of the coffee market by Starbucks. In the context of financial innovation, the model generates the phenomenon of "reaching for yield".

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2016. "Competition for Attention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 481-513.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:83:y:2016:i:2:p:481-513.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdv048
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Persson, Petra, 2013. "Attention Manipulation and Information Overload," Working Paper Series 995, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    2. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-276, September.
    3. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Salience and Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 623-628, May.
    4. Azar, Ofer H., 2008. "The effect of relative thinking on firm strategy and market outcomes: A location differentiation model with endogenous transportation costs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 684-697, November.
    5. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    6. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Salience and Consumer Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(5), pages 803-843.
    7. repec:elg:eechap:16609_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michele Piccione & Ran Spiegler, 2012. "Price Competition Under Limited Comparability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 97-135.
    9. Xavier Gabaix, 2014. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1661-1710.
    10. Andreas M. Hefti, 2011. "Attention competition," ECON - Working Papers 028, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. 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.
    12. Stefano Dellavigna & Joshua M. Pollet, 2009. "Investor Inattention and Friday Earnings Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 709-749, April.
    13. Filip Matejka & Alisdair McKay, 2012. "Simple Market Equilibria with Rationally Inattentive Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 24-29, May.
    14. Spiegler, Ran, 2014. "Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199334261.
    15. Dahremöller, Carsten & Fels, Markus, 2015. "Product lines, product design, and limited attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 437-456.
    16. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2011. "Consideration Sets and Competitive Marketing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 235-262.
    17. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2008. "All That Glitters: The Effect of Attention and News on the Buying Behavior of Individual and Institutional Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 785-818, April.
    18. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2011. "On the strategic use of attention grabbers," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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