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Base-Rate Neglect and Imperfect Information Acquisition


  • Philipp C. Wichardt
  • Pavlo R. Blavatskyy


Base-rate neglect is a robust experimental finding that individuals do not update their prior beliefs according to the Bayes' rule and, typically, underestimate their posterior probabilities. Another empirical finding is that individuals often do not acquire information even when there are no strategic considerations and the cost of new information is justifiable economically. This paper combines these two different fields of research. Specifically, it is demonstrated that base-rate neglect may lead to imperfect information acquisition. An application to the pricing of new financial assets as well as general implications for the socially optimal pricing of information are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Philipp C. Wichardt & Pavlo R. Blavatskyy, "undated". "Base-Rate Neglect and Imperfect Information Acquisition," IEW - Working Papers 233, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:233

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hurkens, Sjaak & Vulkan, Nir, 2006. "Endogenous private information structures," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 35-54, January.
    2. Rotheli, Tobias F., 2001. "Acquisition of costly information: an experimental study," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 193-208, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fehr, Ernst & Fischbacher, Urs & Kosfeld, Michael, 2005. "Neuroeconomic Foundations of Trust and Social Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 1641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Tania Singer & Ernst Fehr, 2005. "The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 340-345, May.
    3. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, "undated". "The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wages," IEW - Working Papers 247, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item


    Bayes' rule; base-rate neglect; decision making; information acquisition;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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