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Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition

Listed author(s):
  • Andrew Caplin
  • Mark Dean

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19876.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19876.

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Date of creation: Jan 2014
Publication status: published as Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2015. "Revealed Preference, Rational Inattention, and Costly Information Acquisition," American Economic Review, vol 105(7), pages 2183-2203.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19876
Note: TWP
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  1. Anton A. Cheremukhin & Anna Popova & Antonella Tutino, 2011. "Experimental evidence on rational inattention," Working Papers 1112, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2014. "Stochastic Choice and Consideration Sets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(3), pages 1153-1176, 05.
  3. F. Gul & W. Pesendorfer, 2002. "Random Expected Utility," Princeton Economic Theory Working Papers 497768e9b9fc18361ac0810b3, David K. Levine.
  4. Filip Matêjka & Alisdair McKay, 2015. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(1), pages 272-298, January.
  5. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean & Daniel Martin, 2011. "Search and Satisficing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 2899-2922, December.
  6. Yusufcan Masatlioglu & Daisuke Nakajima & Erkut Y. Ozbay, 2012. "Revealed Attention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2183-2205, August.
  7. Tim Beatty & Ian Crawford, 2010. "How demanding is the revealed preference approach to demand," CeMMAP working papers CWP17/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Ian Crawford, 2010. "Habits Revealed," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1382-1402.
  9. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
  10. Andrew Caplin & Daniel Martin, 2013. "A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000649, David K. Levine.
  11. Laura Veldkamp & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, 2004. "Information Immobility and the Home Bias Puzzle," Working Papers 04-32, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  12. Cherchye, L.J.H. & de Rock, B. & Vermeulen, F.M.P., 2011. "The revealed preference approach to collective consumption behavior : Testing and sharing rule recovery," Other publications TiSEM 11c788ab-cf82-4759-a6a8-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  13. Varian, Hal R, 1984. "The Nonparametric Approach to Production Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 579-597, May.
  14. Babur De los Santos & Ali Hortacsu & Matthijs R. Wildenbeest, 2009. "Testing Models of Consumer Search using Data on Web Browsing and Purchasing Behavior," Working Papers 2009-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  15. Reis, Ricardo, 2006. "Inattentive consumers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1761-1800, November.
  16. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
  17. Geoffroy de Clippel & Kareen Rozen, 2012. "Bounded Rationality and Limited Datasets: Testable Implications, Identifiability, and Out-of-Sample Prediction," Working Papers 2012-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  18. Andrew Caplin & Mark Dean, 2013. "Behavioral Implications of Rational Inattention with Shannon Entropy," NBER Working Papers 19318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  20. Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2007. "Sequentially Rationalizable Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1824-1839, December.
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