Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 995: Attention Manipulation and Information Overload

Petra Persson ()
Additional contact information
Petra Persson: Stanford University, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm

Abstract: When a decision-maker’s attention is limited, her decisions depend on what she focuses on. This gives interested parties an incentive to manipulate not only the substance of communication but also the decision-maker’s attention allocation. This paper models such attention manipulation. In its presence, competitive information supply can reduce the decision-maker’s knowledge by causing information overload. Further, a single information provider may deliberately induce information overload to conceal information. These findings, pertinent to consumer protection, suggest a role for rules that restrict communication, mandate not only the content but also the format of disclosure, and regulate product design.

Keywords: Communication; Information Overload; Limited Attention; Persuasion; Disclosure; Complexity; Consumer Protection; Salience

JEL-codes: D18; D82; D83; M38

54 pages, December 13, 2013

Full text files

wp995.pdf PDF-file 

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Elisabeth Gustafsson ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-01-23 23:34:44.