Competing for attention: is the showiest also the best?

Manzini, Paola and Mariotti, Marco (2018) Competing for attention: is the showiest also the best? Economic Journal, 128 (609). pp. 827-844. ISSN 0013-0133

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Abstract

There are many situations in which alternatives ranked by quality wish to be chosen and compete for the imperfect attention of a chooser by selecting their own salience. The chooser may be "tricked" into choosing more salient but inferior alternatives. We investigate when competitive forces ensure instead that (strictly) higher salience is diagnostic of (strictly) higher quality, and the most frequently chosen alternative is the best one. We prove that the structure of externalities in the technology of salience is key. Broadly speaking, positive externalities in salience favour correlation between quality and salience.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0131 Methodology > HB0135 Mathematical economics. Quantitative methods Including econometrics, input-output analysis, game theory
H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0241 Production. Theory of the firm. Supply-side economics
Depositing User: Paola Manzini
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 11:42
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 11:02
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71035

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