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Competition for Attention

Author

Listed:
  • Pedro Bordalo
  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Andrei Shleifer

Abstract

We present a model of market competition and product differentiation in which consumers' attention is drawn to the products' most salient attributes. Firms compete for consumer attention via their choices of quality and price. With salience, strategic positioning of each product affects how all other products are perceived. With this attention externality, depending on the cost of producing quality some markets exhibit "commoditized" price salient equilibria, while others exhibit "de-commoditized" quality salient equilibria. When the cost of producing quality changes, innovation can lead to a radical change in markets. In the context of financial innovation, the model generates the well documented phenomenon of "reaching for yield".

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Competition for Attention," NBER Working Papers 19076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19076
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Spiegler, Ran, 2014. "Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199334261.
    2. Persson, Petra, 2013. "Attention Manipulation and Information Overload," Working Paper Series 995, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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    4. Dahremöller, Carsten & Fels, Markus, 2015. "Product lines, product design, and limited attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 437-456.
    5. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Salience and Consumer Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(5), pages 803-843.
    6. Anderson, Simon P & de Palma, Andre, 1992. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 261-276, September.
    7. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2011. "Consideration Sets and Competitive Marketing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(1), pages 235-262.
    8. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2013. "Salience and Asset Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 623-628, May.
    9. Azar, Ofer H., 2008. "The effect of relative thinking on firm strategy and market outcomes: A location differentiation model with endogenous transportation costs," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 684-697, November.
    10. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 505-540.
    11. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
    12. Filip Matejka & Alisdair McKay, 2012. "Simple Market Equilibria with Rationally Inattentive Consumers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 24-29, May.
    13. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2008. "All That Glitters: The Effect of Attention and News on the Buying Behavior of Individual and Institutional Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 785-818, April.
    14. Michele Piccione & Ran Spiegler, 2012. "Price Competition Under Limited Comparability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(1), pages 97-135.
    15. Andreas M. Hefti, 2011. "Attention competition," ECON - Working Papers 028, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    16. Spiegler, Ran & Eliaz, Kfir, 2011. "On the strategic use of attention grabbers," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
    17. Stefano Dellavigna & Joshua M. Pollet, 2009. "Investor Inattention and Friday Earnings Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 709-749, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Geoffroy de Clippel & Kfir Eliaz & Kareen Rozen, 2014. "Competing for Consumer Inattention," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1203-1234.
    2. Herweg, Fabian & Müller, Daniel & Weinschenk, Philipp, 2017. "Salience, competition, and decoy goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 28-31.
    3. Alessandro Belmonte & Michael Rochlitz, 2018. "The Political Economy of Collective Memories: Evidence from Russian Politics," HSE Working papers WP BRP 59/PS/2018, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Dahremöller, Carsten & Fels, Markus, 2015. "Product lines, product design, and limited attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 437-456.
    5. Alberto Cavallo & Brent Neiman & Roberto Rigobon, 2014. "Currency Unions, Product Introductions, and the Real Exchange Rate," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(2), pages 529-595.
    6. Gerasimou, Georgios & Papi, Mauro, 2015. "Oligopolistic Competition with Choice-Overloaded Consumers," MPRA Paper 68509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Manzini, Paola & Mariotti, Marco, 2014. "Competing for Attention: Is the Showiest also the Best?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2014-015, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    8. Eliaz, Kfir & Oren-Kolbinger, Orli & Weisburd, Sarit, 2017. "Limited Attention, Salience and Changing Prices: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Online Supermarket Shopping," CEPR Discussion Papers 12014, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Andersson, Ola & Ingebretsen Carlson, Jim & Wengström, Erik, 2016. "Differences Attract: An Experimental Study of Focusing in Economic Choice," Working Papers 2016:15, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    10. Azar, Ofer H., 2014. "Optimal strategy of multi-product retailers with relative thinking and reference prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 130-140.
    11. Gabaix, Xavier & Laibson, David & Li, Deyuan & Li, Hongyi & Resnick, Sidney & de Vries, Casper G., 2016. "The impact of competition on prices with numerous firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 1-24.
    12. Allred, Sarah & Duffy, Sean & Smith, John, 2016. "Cognitive load and strategic sophistication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 162-178.
    13. James M. Sallee, 2014. "Rational Inattention and Energy Efficiency," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(3), pages 781-820.
    14. Ennio Bilancini & Leonardo Boncinelli, 2014. "Persuasion with Reference Cues and Elaboration Costs," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 102, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    15. repec:eee:eecrev:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:330-353 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Inderst, Roman & Obradovits, Martin, 2015. "Too Much Attention on Low Prices? Loss Leading in a Model of Sales with Salient Thinkers," CEPR Discussion Papers 10813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Inderst, Roman & Obradovits, Martin, 2016. "Excessive Competition for Headline Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 11284, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing

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