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Behavioral and Policy Implications of Rational Inattention

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 INATTENTION project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the INATTENTION project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "INATTENTION" about.

risk    attention    of    public    expenditures    citizens    rational    cognitively    environment    bureaucrats    inspect    modern    ing    budgets    inattentive    good    outlines    political    poor    limited    setting    left    digest    details    voters    imperfections    instead    broad    theory    consumption    extend    inability    popular    decisions    policy    demand    codes    inattention    agenda    macro    selective    alternative    provision    human    complexity    unified    sharing    constraints    behavioral    types    parts    people    attract    ignorance    minorities    data    critical    agents    heterogeneous    implications    redistribution    mental    policies    misguided    macroeconomics    platforms    environments    experiment    tax    form    first    government    fragmented    taxes    acquisition    politicians    multidimensional    campaign    code    explanation    salience    announced    separate    model    uninformed    simplify    falls    accounting    outcomes    economics    incentive    economy    framework   

Project "INATTENTION" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Politickych veznu 7
city: PRAHA 1
postcode: 111 21

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Czech Republic [CZ]
 Project website
 Total cost 950˙424 €
 EC max contribution 950˙424 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-04-01   to  2021-03-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

This proposal outlines agenda which aims to improve our understanding of policies in environments with cognitively limited agents. It seeks to extend and apply the theory of rational inattention developed in macroeconomics. Citizens are inattentive to details of tax codes, government bureaucrats cannot inspect all data about people in need, and voters are highly uninformed about politicians’ campaign platforms. The agenda is specifically targeted at applications where human inability to digest all available information has strong implications for public policy formation. It falls into three broad parts. First (macroeconomics), the proposed research will develop a new model of risk-sharing in a typical modern-macro setting with heterogeneous agents. Instead of incentive constraints, the imperfections will be driven by the government’s or citizens’ inability to process all available information. What are the properties of the resulting system of redistribution? Why do taxes often take a simple form? Can minorities be left behind because they attract less of the government’s attention? Second (behavioral economics), it will extend the rational inattention theory to model how agents simplify multidimensional features of the environment. Among many applications, the theory is likely to provide an alternative explanation for mental accounting, when people have separate budgets for different types of expenditures (critical to consumption decisions, especially of the poor), and for salience of different elements of the tax code. Third (political economy), it will develop a unified framework to study implications of voters’ rational inattention (selective ignorance) for the outcomes of political processes, such as for popular demand for misguided policies, public good provision, and the complexity of announced platforms. Voters’ information acquisition and fragmented information processing will be studied in a field experiment.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Godfrey Keller, Vladimír Novák, Tim Willems
A note on optimal experimentation under risk aversion
published pages: 476-487, ISSN: 0022-0531, DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2018.11.006
Journal of Economic Theory 179 2019-10-15

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