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Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 4:15pm to 5:15pmVirtual Event
Anqi Li, Washington University in St. Louis
A Rational Inattention Theory of Echo Chamber (joint w/Lin Hu, & Xu Tan)
Very Preliminary draft: Do not circulate without permission.
Abstract: A group of heterogeneous players gathers information about an uncertain state before making decisions. Each player allocates his limited bandwidth between biased sources and the other players, and the resulting stochastic attention network facilitates the transmission of news from sources to him either directly or indirectly through the other players. The limit in the bandwidth leads the player to focus on his own-biased source, resulting in occasional cross-cutting exposures but most of the time a reinforcement of his predisposition. It also con nes his attention to like-minded friends who, by attending to the same primary source as his, serve as secondary sources in case the news trans-mission from the primary source to him is disrupted. A mandate on impartial exposures to all biased sources disrupts echo chambers but entails ambiguous welfare consequences. Inside an echo chamber, even a small amount of hetero-geneity between players can generate fat-tailed distributions of public opinion, and factors a ecting the visibility of sources and players could have unintended consequences for public opinion and consumer welfare.
If you are interested participating in this seminar, please email Ulrike Kroeller at firstname.lastname@example.org for Zoom information.