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Economic Agents as Imperfect Problem Solvers

Author

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  • Rosen Valchev

    (Boston College)

  • Cosmin Ilut

    (Duke University)

Abstract

In this paper, we study a bounded rationality model where agents find it costly to solve economic problems, even if state variables are perfectly observed. We analyze how this hypothesis is complementary, but distinct, from the traditional approach of `information constraints', where agents are limited in the proper perception of state variables. We consider several classic economic problems, with a particular focus on macroeconomic models, to derive observable implications that differentiate our proposed friction from the existing bounded rationality approaches. The model generates state-dependent decision rules characterized by inaction, as well as by under- or over-reaction. In terms of policy implications, we show how the cognition friction can change inference on the underlying sources of economic mechanisms and shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosen Valchev & Cosmin Ilut, 2017. "Economic Agents as Imperfect Problem Solvers," 2017 Meeting Papers 1285, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:1285
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    3. Cosmin Ilut & Rosen Valchev & Nicolas Vincent, 2020. "Paralyzed by Fear: Rigid and Discrete Pricing Under Demand Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(5), pages 1899-1938, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carstensen, Kai & Bachmann, Rüdiger & Schneider, Martin & Lautenbacher, Stefan, 2018. "Uncertainty is Change," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181572, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Francesco D’Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Michael Weber, 2020. "Managing Households' Expectations with Unconventional Policies," NBER Working Papers 27399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. D'Acunto, Francesco & Hoang, Daniel & Paloviita, Maritta & Weber, Michael, 2019. "IQ, Expectations, and Choice," Research Discussion Papers 2/2019, Bank of Finland.
    4. Nimark, Kristoffer P. & Sundaresan, Savitar, 2019. "Inattention and belief polarization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 203-228.
    5. Andrade, Philippe & Gautier, Erwan & Mengus, Eric, 2020. "What Matters in Households' Inflation Expectations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Francesco D'Acunto & Daniel Hoang & Maritta Paloviita & Michael Weber, 2019. "Human Frictions to the Transmission of Economic Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 339, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. George-Marios Angeletos & Karthik Sastry, 2019. "Inattentive Economies," NBER Working Papers 26413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Hassan Afrouzi, 2020. "Strategic Inattention, Inflation Dynamics, and the Non-Neutrality of Money," CESifo Working Paper Series 8218, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E71 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on the Macro Economy

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