IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Coarse Thinking and Persuasion

  • Sendhil Mullainathan
  • Joshua Schwartzstein
  • Andrei Shleifer

We present a model of coarse thinking, in which individuals group situations into categories, and transfer the informational content of a given message from situations in a category where it is useful to those where it is not. The model explains how uninformative messages can be persuasive, particularly in low involvement situations, and how objectively informative messages can be dropped by the persuader without the audience assuming the worst. The model sheds light on product branding, the structure of product attributes, and several puzzling aspects of mutual fund advertising.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12720.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12720.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein & Andrei Shleifer, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 577-619, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12720
Note: AP CF IO
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  2. H.S. Shin, 1994. "News Management and the Value of Firms," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 58-71, Spring.
  3. McCloskey, Donald & Klamer, Arjo, 1995. "One Quarter of GDP Is Persuasion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 191-95, May.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlin & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 11892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Enriqueta Aragones & Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2003. "Fact-Free Learning," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Enriqueta Aragones & Itzhak Gilboa & Andrew Postlewaite & David Schmeidler, 2013. "Rhetoric and Analogies," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 932.13, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  8. Eyster, Erik & Rabin, Matt, 2002. "Cursed Equilibrium," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6xf4782t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2005. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1283-1330, November.
  10. V. Crawford & J. Sobel, 2010. "Strategic Information Transmission," Levine's Working Paper Archive 544, David K. Levine.
  11. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein & Jialin Yu, 2007. "Simple Forecasts and Paradigm Shifts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1207-1242, 06.
  12. 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.
  13. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  14. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "Disclosure Laws and Takeover Bids," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 23-79, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  15. Glazer, J. & Rubinstein, A., 1997. "Debates and Decisions: On a Rationale of Argumentation Rules," Papers 17-97, Tel Aviv.
  16. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540, May.
  17. Philippe Jehiel & Frederic Koessler, 2005. "Revisiting Games of Incomplete Information with Analogy-Based Expectations," THEMA Working Papers 2005-04, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  18. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Media Bias and Reputation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 280-316, April.
  19. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Sequential Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
  21. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Jonathan Reuter & Eric Zitzewitz, 2005. "Do Ads Influence Editors? Advertising and Bias in the Financial Media," Finance 0501003, EconWPA.
  23. Fryer Roland & Jackson Matthew O., 2008. "A Categorical Model of Cognition and Biased Decision Making," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-44, February.
  24. Chevalier, J. & Ellison, G., 1996. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Working papers 96-3, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  25. Cronqvist, Henrik, 2006. "Advertising and Portfolio Choice," Working Paper Series 2006-16, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  26. Jacob Glazer & Ariel Rubinstein, 2004. "On Optimal Rules of Persuasion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1715-1736, November.
  27. Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Postlewaite, Andrew & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Strategic Information Revelation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 25-47, January.
  28. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1995. "Case-Based Decision Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 605-39, August.
  29. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-50, June.
  30. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
  31. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  32. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  33. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  34. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Persuasion in Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 435-439, May.
  35. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  36. Kent Daniel & Sheridan Titman, 2006. "Market Reactions to Tangible and Intangible Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(4), pages 1605-1643, 08.
  37. Glenn Ellison, 2004. "A Model of Add-on Pricing," Economics Working Papers 0049, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  38. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  39. 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.
  40. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
  41. Jehiel, Philippe, 2005. "Analogy-based expectation equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 123(2), pages 81-104, August.
  42. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2005. "Persuasion in Finance," NBER Working Papers 11838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-64, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12720. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.