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School of Economics and Finance

No. 744: Modelling Imperfect Attention

Paola Manzini , University of St. Andrews
Marco Mariotti , Queen Mary University of London

May 13, 2015

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We propose a novel method to model an agent who is imperfectly attentive in the sense that she may consider only some of the alternatives available. Our methodology departs from the standard 'revealed preference' one: we make plausible assumptions on the values to the imperfectly attentive agent of different choice situations. We derive in this way a simple reduced-form model that is compatible with several cognitive processes underlying choice: the agent stochastically forms a consideration set by noticing each alternative with a given probability and then maximises a deterministic utility function over the consideration set.

J.E.L classification codes: D0

Keywords:Attention, Bounded rationality, Stochastic choice