Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model
Often, individuals must choose among discrete alternatives with imperfect information about their values, such as selecting a job candidate, a vehicle or a university. Before choosing, they may have an opportunity to study the options, but doing so is costly. This costly information acquisition creates new choices such as the number of and types of questions to ask the job candidates. We model these situations using the tools of the rational inattention approach to information frictions (Sims, 2003). We find that the decision maker's optimal strategy results in choosing probabilistically exactly in line with the multinomial logit model. This provides a new interpretation for a workhorse model of discrete choice theory. We also study cases for which the multinomial logit is not applicable, in particular when two options are duplicates. In such cases, our model generates a generalization of the logit formula, which is free of the limitations of the standard logit.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 882, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Praha 1|
Phone: (+420) 224 005 123
Fax: (+420) 224 005 333
Web page: http://www.cerge-ei.cz
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tutino, Antonella, 2008. "The rigidity of choice: lifetime savings under information-processing constraints," MPRA Paper 16744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jul 2009.
- Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2011.
"Business cycle dynamics under rational inattention,"
Working Paper Series
1331, European Central Bank.
- Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2010. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 7691, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2008. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," 2008 Meeting Papers 1059, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2004.
"Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention,"
SFB 649 Discussion Papers
SFB649DP2005-040, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, revised Jul 2005.
- Mirko Wiederholt & Bartosz Mackowiak, 2005. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," 2005 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Mackowiak, Bartosz Adam & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2007. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," CEPR Discussion Papers 6243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Wiederholt, Mirko, 2009. "Optimal sticky prices under rational inattention," Working Paper Series 1009, European Central Bank.
- Faruk Gul & Paulo Natenzon & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2014. "Random Choice as Behavioral Optimization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 1873-1912, 09.
- Daniel McFadden, 2001.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
- Yulei Luo, 2005.
"Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints,"
0505011, EconWPA, revised 03 Jun 2005.
- Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 366-385, April.
- R. McKelvey & T. Palfrey, 2010. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 510, David K. Levine.
- Stahl, D O, 1990. "Entropy Control Costs and Entropic Equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 129-38.
- Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
- Kenneth Train, 2003.
"Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation,"
Online economics textbooks,
SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number emetr2.
- repec:oup:restud:v:77:y:2010:i:2:p:779-805 is not listed on IDEAS
- Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
- Woodford, Michael, 2009. "Information-constrained state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages S100-S124.
- Filip Matejka, 2010.
"Rigid Pricing and Rationally Inattentive Consumer,"
CERGE-EI Working Papers
wp409, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
- Filip Matejka, 2010.
"Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing,"
CERGE-EI Working Papers
wp408, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
- Filip Matejka, 2010. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," 2010 Meeting Papers 420, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2008.
"Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification,"
NBER Working Papers
13904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mattsson, Lars-Goran & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2002. "Probabilistic choice and procedurally bounded rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 61-78, October.
- Luigi Paciello & Mirko Wiederholt, 2011.
"Exogenous Information, Endogenous Information and Optimal Monetary Policy,"
EIEF Working Papers Series
1104, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2011.
- Christopher A. Sims, 2006. "Rational Inattention: Beyond the Linear-Quadratic Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 158-163, May.
- Luo Yulei & Young Eric R, 2009. "Rational Inattention and Aggregate Fluctuations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-43, April.
- Anas, Alex, 1983. "Discrete choice theory, information theory and the multinomial logit and gravity models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-23, February.
- Mattsson, Lars-Göran & Voorneveld, Mark & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2004. "Better may be worse: Some monotonicity results and paradoxes in discrete choice," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 558, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 21 Apr 2004.
- JÃ¶rgen Weibull & Lars-GÃ¶ran Mattsson & Mark Voorneveld, 2007. "Better May be Worse: Some Monotonicity Results and Paradoxes in Discrete Choice Under Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 121-151, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp442. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jana Koudelkova)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.