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Experimental evidence on rational inattention

Author

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  • Cheremukhin, Anton A.
  • Popova, Anna
  • Tutino, Antonella

Abstract

We show that rational inattention theory of Sims (2003) provides a rationalization of choice models à la Luce and gives a structural interpretation to probability curvature parameters as reflecting costs of processing information. We use data from a behavioral experiment to show that people behave according to predictions of the theory. We estimate attitudes to risk and costs of information for individual participants and document overwhelming heterogeneity in these parameters among a relatively homogeneous sample of people. We characterize, both theoretically and empirically, the aggregation biases this heterogeneity implies and find these biases to be substantial.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheremukhin, Anton A. & Popova, Anna & Tutino, Antonella, 2011. "Experimental evidence on rational inattention," Working Papers 1112, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:1112
    DOI: 10.24149/wp1112
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/papers/2011/wp1112.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
    2. Hey, John D & Orme, Chris, 1994. "Investigating Generalizations of Expected Utility Theory Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1291-1326, November.
    3. Tutino, Antonella, 2011. "Rationally inattentive macroeconomic wedges," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 344-362, March.
    4. Barbera, Salvador & Pattanaik, Prasanta K, 1986. "Falmagne and the Rationalizability of Stochastic Choices in Terms of Random Orderings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 707-715, May.
    5. Harless, David W & Camerer, Colin F, 1994. "The Predictive Utility of Generalized Expected Utility Theories," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1251-1289, November.
    6. Daniel G. Goldstein & Gerd Gigerenzer, 2011. "The beauty of simple models: Themes in recognition heuristic research," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(5), pages 392-395, July.
    7. Mirko Wiederholt, 2010. "rational inattention," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2014. "Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 1153-1176, May.
    2. repec:eee:moneco:v:91:y:2017:i:c:p:88-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Johannes Abeler & Simon Jäger, 2013. "Complex Tax Incentives - An Experimental Investigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4231, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Mel Win Khaw & Luminita Stevens & Michael Woodford, 2016. "Discrete Adjustment to a Changing Environment: Experimental Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 6273, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2015. "Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(7), pages 2183-2203, July.
    6. Goecke, Henry & Luhan, Wolfgang J. & Roos, Michael W.M., 2013. "Rational inattentiveness in a forecasting experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 80-89.
    7. Michael Woodford, 2014. "An Optimizing Neuroeconomic Model of Discrete Choice," NBER Working Papers 19897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael Woodford, 2014. "Stochastic Choice: An Optimizing Neuroeconomic Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 495-500, May.

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    Keywords

    Risk management; Econometrics;

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