Optimal Dynamic Allocation of Attention
- American Economic Review (Forthcoming)
We consider a decision maker (DM) who, before taking an action, seeks information by allocating her limited attention dynamically over different news sources that are biased toward alternative actions. Endogenous choice of information generates rich dynamics: The chosen news source either reinforces or weakens the prior, shaping subsequent attention choices, belief updating, and the final action. The DM adopts a learning strategy biased toward the current belief when the belief is extreme and against that belief when it is moderate. Applied to consumption of news media, observed behavior exhibits an “echo-chamber” effect for partisan voters and a novel “anti echo-chamber” effect for moderates.
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