School of Economics and Finance

No. 697: Behavioral Implications of Shortlisting Procedures

Christopher J. Tyson , Queen Mary, University of London

October 1, 2012

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We consider two-stage "shortlisting procedures" in which the menu of alternatives is first pruned by some process or criterion and then a binary relation is maximized. Given a particular first-stage process, our main result supplies a necessary and sufficient condition for choice data to be consistent with a procedure in the designated class. This result applies to any class of procedures with a certain lattice structure, including the cases of "consideration filters," "satisficing with salience effects," and "rational shortlist methods." The theory avoids background assumptions made for mathematical convenience; in this and other respects following Richter's classical analysis of preference-maximizing choice in the absence of shortlisting.

J.E.L classification codes: D01, D03

Keywords:Attention, Complete lattice, Consideration set, Revealed preference