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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

This event will take place online.

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

Unless otherwise specified, current restrictions mean in-person seminars are only open to members of the LSE community (those with a valid LSE ID card).

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom.

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 Francesco Nava.

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

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This event will take place online.