Skip to main content

STICERD Economic Theory Seminars

Search: Breadth vs Depth

Michael Richter (Royal Holloway)

Thursday 02 March 2017 15:30 - 17:00

Due to the onging coronavirus outbreak, many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as online seminars. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

About this event

We consider a fundamental trade-off in search: when choosing between multiple unknown alternatives, is it better to learn a little about all of them (breadth) or a lot about a single one (depth)? Generally, we find that breadth is optimal for “small” problems and that depth is optimal for “large” ones. We find that in a political setting where voters learn about candidates and find a rational justification for the stylized fact that voters tend to learn only about their preferred candidate. Finally, we consider extensions to fat-tails, correlation, and a strategic IO setting and find that in all extensions, breadth is superior.

Economic Theory Seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 15:30-17:00, ONLINE, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Francesco Nava.

For further information please contact Annie-Rose Nicholas by email:

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Economic Theory seminars mailing list (etheory).