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STICERD Economic Theory Seminars

Misinterpreting Social Outcomes and Information Campaigns

Aislinn Bohren (University of Pennsylvania), joint with Daniel N. Hauser

Thursday 14 May 2020 15:30 - 17:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

This paper explores learning in a setting with social perception biases. Individuals learn from others’ outcomes but have a misspecified model of their preferences. When individuals systematically overestimate the similarity between their own preferences and the preferences of others - exhibiting the false consensus effect - this can lead to incorrect learning, while when individuals systematically underestimate this similarity - exhibiting pluralistic ignorance -- this can prevent beliefs from converging. We explore how information campaigns - releasing (costly) information about the state - can counteract these inefficient choices. We show that the duration - temporary or permanent - and the target - correct inefficient action choices or reinforce efficient action choices - of the optimal information campaign depend crucially on the form of misspecification.

Economic Theory Seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 15:30-17:00, ONLINE or ONLINE AND IN PERSON at the same time.

Seminar organisers: Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Christopher Sandmann.

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

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