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Attention Manipulation and Information Overload

  • Persson, Petra


    (Stanford University)

When a decision-maker’s attention is limited, her decisions depend on what she focuses on. This gives interested parties an incentive to manipulate not only the substance of communication but also the decision-maker’s attention allocation. This paper models such attention manipulation. In its presence, competitive information supply can reduce the decision-maker’s knowledge by causing information overload. Further, a single information provider may deliberately induce information overload to conceal information. These findings, pertinent to consumer protection, suggest a role for rules that restrict communication, mandate not only the content but also the format of disclosure, and regulate product design.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 995.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0995
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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  1. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 145-79, March.
  2. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
  3. Paul R. Milgrom, 1979. "Good Nevs and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Discussion Papers 407R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-83, December.
  6. Thomas Eisensee & David Strömberg, 2007. "News Droughts, News Floods, and U. S. Disaster Relief," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 693-728.
  7. Bernard Caillaud & Jean Tirole, 2007. "Consensus Building: How to Persuade a Group," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1877-1900, December.
  8. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When does coordination require centralization?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58664, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Chakraborty, Archishman & Harbaugh, Rick, 2007. "Comparative cheap talk," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 70-94, January.
    • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2004. "Comparative Cheap Talk," Working Papers 2004-08, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
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