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The Economics of Attention

George Loewenstein and Zachary Wojtowicz

No 10712, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: Attention is a pivotal resource in the modern economy and plays an increasingly prominent role in economic analysis. We summarize research on attention from both psychology and economics, placing a particular emphasis on its capacity to explain numerous documented violations of classical economic theory. We also propose promising new directions for future research, including attention-based utility, the recent proliferation of attentional externalities introduced by digital technology, the potential for artificial intelligence to compete with human attention, and the significant role that boredom, curiosity, and other motivational states play in determining how people allocate attention.

Keywords: attention; motivation; behavioural bias; information; learning; education; artificial intelligence; machine learning; future of work (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 D90 D91 I00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2023
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cmp, nep-evo, nep-hpe and nep-upt
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ces:ceswps:_10712

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