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Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition

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  • Andrew Caplin
  • Mark Dean

Abstract

We develop a revealed preference test for optimal acquisition of costly information. The test encompasses models of rational inattention, sequential signal processing, and search. We provide limits on the extent to which attention costs can be recovered from choice data. We experimentally elicit state dependent stochastic choice data of the form the tests require. In simple cases, tests confirm that subjects adjust their attention in response to incentives as the theory dictates.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2014. "Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition," NBER Working Papers 19876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19876
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
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    4. Cheremukhin, Anton A. & Popova, Anna & Tutino, Antonella, 2011. "Experimental evidence on rational inattention," Working Papers 1112, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
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    7. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2013. "Behavioral Implications of Rational Inattention with Shannon Entropy," NBER Working Papers 19318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Babur De Los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2012. "Testing Models of Consumer Search Using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2955-2980, October.
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    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General

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