Information processing with recursive utility: some intriguing results
We study information processing in a simple endowment economy where the mean consumption growth rate are governed by a hidden state variable and agents have recursive preferences. We show that for typical parameter values, there is a strong incentive to commit to ignoring future information on the state of the economy, but that such commitment raises time-inconsistency problems. We estimate the model on postwar US data and find that the representative consumer can achieve a utility gain equivalent to a 20% increase in lifetime consumption simply by not paying attention to the state of the economy.
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