Competing for attention : is the showiest also the best?
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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.
Manzini , P & Mariotti , M 2018 , ' Competing for attention : is the showiest also the best? ' , The Economic Journal , vol. 128 , no. 609 , pp. 827-844 . https://doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12425
The Economic Journal
© 2016, Royal Economic Society. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12425
DescriptionFinancial support from ESRC grant RES-000-22-3474 is gratefully acknowledged
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