2018

Attention Manipulation and Information Overload

Reprint No. 2018:24

Author(s): Petra PerssonYear: 2018 Title: Behavioural Public Policy Volume (No.): 2 (1) Pages: 78–106
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version


Limits on consumer attention give firms incentives to manipulate prospective buyers’ allocation of attention. This paper models such attention manipulation and shows that it limits the ability of disclosure regulation to improve consumer welfare. Competitive information supply from firms competing for attention can reduce consumers’ knowledge by causing information overload. A single firm subjected to a disclosure mandate may deliberately induce such information overload to obfuscate financially relevant information or engage in product complexification to bound consumers’ financial literacy. Thus, disclosure rules that would improve welfare for agents without attention limitations can prove ineffective for consumers with limited attention. Obfuscation suggests a role for rules that mandate not only the content, but also the format of disclosure; however, even rules that mandate ‘easy-to-understand’ formats can be ineffective against complexification, which may call for regulation of product design.


Reference:
Persson, Petra (2018), "Attention Manipulation and Information Overload". Behavioural Public Policy 2(1), 78–106.

Global index of the sharing economy

Timbro SEI

2018 Bergh Funcke Wernberg - Timbro Sharing Economy Index-1fHemsidan.jpg

Andreas Bergh, IFN and Lund University, is one of the authors of this book. The Timbro Sharing Economy Index is the first global index of the sharing economy. The index has been compiled using traffic volume data and scraped data, and provides a unique insight into the driving factors behind the peer-to-peer economy.

About the book

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se