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Competition for Attention

  • Pedro Bordalo
  • Nicola Gennaioli
  • Andrei Shleifer

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".

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19076.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19076.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Publication status: published as Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2016. "Competition for Attention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 481-513.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19076
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  1. Xavier Gabaix & David Laibson, 2005. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 11755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pedro Bordalo & Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer, 2010. "Salience and consumer choice," Economics Working Papers 1252, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2012.
  3. Stefano Dellavigna & Joshua M. Pollet, 2009. "Investor Inattention and Friday Earnings Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(2), pages 709-749, 04.
  4. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," NBER Working Papers 16911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Persson, Petra, 2013. "Attention Manipulation and Information Overload," Working Paper Series 995, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Simple Market Equilibria with Rationally Inattentive Consumers," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-025, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  7. Bordalo, Pedro & Gennaioli, Nicola & Shleifer, Andrei, 2013. "Salience and Asset Prices," Scholarly Articles 11688793, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Spiegler, Ran, 2011. "Bounded Rationality and Industrial Organization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195398717, December.
  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. Spiegler, Ran & Eliaz, Kfir, 2011. "On the strategic use of attention grabbers," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), January.
  11. Piccione, Michele & Spiegler, Ran, 2009. "Price Competition under Limited Comparability," MPRA Paper 21427, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Oct 2009.
  12. Eliaz, Kfir & Spiegler, Ran, 2009. "Consideration Sets and Competitive Marketing," CEPR Discussion Papers 7456, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition Through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13.
  14. Dahremöller, Carsten & Fels, Markus, 2015. "Product lines, product design, and limited attention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 437-456.
  15. 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.
  16. Andreas M. Hefti, 2011. "Attention competition," ECON - Working Papers 028, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  17. Simon P. Anderston & Andre de Palma, 1991. "Multiproduct Firms: A Nested Logit Approach," Discussion Papers 973, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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