IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed011/535.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model

Author

Listed:
  • Alisdair McKay

    (Boston University)

  • Filip Matejka

    (CERGE, Prague)

Abstract

We apply the rational inattention approach to information frictions to a discrete choice problem. The rationally inattentive agent chooses how to process information about the unknown values of the available options to maximize the expected value of the chosen option less an information cost. We solve the model analytically and find that if the agent views the options as equivalent a priori, then the agent chooses probabilistically according to the multinomial logit model, which is widely used to study discrete choices. When the options are not symmetric a priori, the agent incorporates prior knowledge of the options into the choice in a simple fashion that can be interpreted as a multinomial logit in which an option's a priori attractiveness shifts its perceived value. Unlike the multinomial logit, this model predicts that duplicate options are treated as a single option.

Suggested Citation

  • Alisdair McKay & Filip Matejka, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Discrete Choices: A New Foundation for the Multinomial Logit Model," 2011 Meeting Papers 535, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:535
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_535.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bartosz Maćkowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2015. "Business Cycle Dynamics under Rational Inattention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1502-1532.
    2. Filip Matějka, 2016. "Rationally Inattentive Seller: Sales and Discrete Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(3), pages 1125-1155.
    3. Bartosz Mackowiak & Mirko Wiederholt, 2009. "Optimal Sticky Prices under Rational Inattention," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 769-803, June.
    4. Woodford, Michael, 2009. "Information-constrained state-dependent pricing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(S), pages 100-124.
    5. Mattsson, Lars-Göran & Voorneveld, Mark & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2004. "Better may be worse: Some monotonicity results and paradoxes in discrete choice," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 558, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 13 Sep 2006.
    6. McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
    7. Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Laura Veldkamp, 2010. "Information Acquisition and Under-Diversification," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(2), pages 779-805.
    8. Mondria, Jordi, 2010. "Portfolio choice, attention allocation, and price comovement," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1837-1864, September.
    9. Stahl, D O, 1990. "Entropy Control Costs and Entropic Equilibria," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 19(2), pages 129-138.
    10. Luo Yulei & Young Eric R, 2009. "Rational Inattention and Aggregate Fluctuations," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-43, April.
    11. Daniel McFadden, 2001. "Economic Choices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 351-378, June.
    12. Mattsson, Lars-Goran & Weibull, Jorgen W., 2002. "Probabilistic choice and procedurally bounded rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 61-78, October.
    13. Jörgen Weibull & Lars-Göran Mattsson & Mark Voorneveld, 2007. "Better May be Worse: Some Monotonicity Results and Paradoxes in Discrete Choice Under Uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 121-151, September.
    14. Daniel L. McFadden, 1976. "Quantal Choice Analaysis: A Survey," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 363-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521747387, April.
    16. Luigi Paciello & Mirko Wiederholt, 2014. "Exogenous Information, Endogenous Information, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 356-388.
    17. Tutino, Antonella, 2008. "The rigidity of choice: lifetime savings under information-processing constraints," MPRA Paper 16744, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 24 Jul 2009.
    18. Yulei Luo, 2008. "Consumption Dynamics under Information Processing Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 366-385, April.
    19. Anas, Alex, 1983. "Discrete choice theory, information theory and the multinomial logit and gravity models," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-23, February.
    20. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    21. Matějka, Filip, 2015. "Rigid pricing and rationally inattentive consumer," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 158(PB), pages 656-678.
    22. Faruk Gul & Paulo Natenzon & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2014. "Random Choice as Behavioral Optimization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 1873-1912, September.
    23. Christopher A. Sims, 2006. "Rational Inattention: Beyond the Linear-Quadratic Case," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 158-163, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed011:535. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.