IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/7286.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Competition for attention in the information (overload) age

Author

Listed:
  • Anderson, Simon P
  • de Palma, André

Abstract

Limited consumer attention limits product market competition: prices are stochastically lower the more attention is paid. Ads compete to be the lowest price with other ads from the same sector and they compete for attention with ads from other sectors: equilibrium sector ad shares under free entry follow a CES form. When a sector gets more attractive, its advertising expands: others lose ad market share but may increase in absolute terms if sufficiently attractive. The "information hump" shows highest ad levels for intermediate attention levels when there is a decent enough chance of getting the message across and also of not being undercut by a cheaper offer. The Information Age takes off when the number of sectors grows, but total ad volume reaches an upper limit. Overall, advertising is excessive, though the allocation across sectors is optimal. Nonetheless, both large sectors and small ones can be blamed for misallocation of ads in using up scarce attention.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, André, 2009. "Competition for attention in the information (overload) age," CEPR Discussion Papers 7286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7286
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7286
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Josef Falkinger, 2008. "A welfare analysis of "junk" information and spam filters," SOI - Working Papers 0811, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    2. Stegeman, Mark, 1991. "Advertising in Competitive Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 210-223, March.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
    4. Avinash Dixit & Victor Norman, 1978. "Advertising and Welfare," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
    5. Carl Shapiro, 1980. "Advertising and Welfare: Comment," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 749-752, Autumn.
    6. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-969, July.
    7. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709.
    8. Timothy Van Zandt, 2004. "Information Overload in a Network of Targeted Communication," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(3), pages 542-560, Autumn.
    9. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan, 2001. "Information Gatekeepers on the Internet and the Competitiveness of Homogeneous Product Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 454-474, June.
    10. Baye, Michael R. & Morgan, John, 2002. "Information gatekeepers and price discrimination on the internet," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 47-51, June.
    11. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    12. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Larbi Alaoui & Fabrizio Germano, 2012. "Time scarcity and the market for news," Economics Working Papers 1348, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2014.
    2. Florian Hoffmann & Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2013. "Hypertargeting, Limited Attention, and Privacy: Implications for Marketing and Campaigning," Working Papers 479, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Simon P. Anderson & André de Palma, 2009. "Information congestion," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(4), pages 688-709.
    4. Budzinski, Oliver, 2017. "Wettbewerbsregeln für das Digitale Zeitalter - Die Ökonomik personalisierter Daten, Verbraucherschutz und die 9. GWB-Novelle," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 108, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    5. Chiao, Benjamin & MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey, 2012. "Using uncensored communication channels to divert spam traffic," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 173-186.
    6. Yuk Ying Chang & Martin Young, 2015. "Dissipative Competition: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 169-198, June.
    7. Budzinski, Oliver & Grusevaja, Marina, 2017. "Die Medienökonomik personalisierter Daten und der Facebook-Fall," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 107, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    8. Alessandro Acquisti & Curtis Taylor & Liad Wagman, 2016. "The Economics of Privacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(2), pages 442-492, June.
    9. repec:eee:joreco:v:35:y:2017:i:c:p:36-45 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hartmut Egger & Josef Falkinger, 2016. "Limited Consumer Attention in International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 1096-1128, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    advertising distribution; consumer attention; economics of attention; information age; information filtering; price dispersion; size distribution of firms;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7286. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.