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Persuasion: Empirical Evidence

Persuasion: Empirical Evidence

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Published by Corey Recvlohe
We provide a selective survey of empirical evidence on the effects as well as the drivers of persuasive communication. We consider persuasion directed at consumers, voters, donors, and investors. We organize our review around four questions. First, to what extent does persuasion affect the behavior of each of these groups? Second, what models best capture the response to persuasive communication?
We provide a selective survey of empirical evidence on the effects as well as the drivers of persuasive communication. We consider persuasion directed at consumers, voters, donors, and investors. We organize our review around four questions. First, to what extent does persuasion affect the behavior of each of these groups? Second, what models best capture the response to persuasive communication?

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Published by: Corey Recvlohe on Apr 01, 2011
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09/30/2013

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Persuasion: Empirical Evidence
Stefano DellaVignaUC Berkeley and NBERMatthew GentzkowChicago Booth and NBERPrepared for the
Annual Review of Economics
, Volume 2.August 16, 2009
 
Contents
1 Introduction 32 Is Persuasion Eective? 5
2.1 Persuading Consumers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62.2 Persuading Voters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92.3 Persuading Donors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132.4 Persuading Investors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3 What Models Best Capture the Response to Persuasive Communication? 17
3.1 Predictions of Belief-Based Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183.2 Predictions of Preference-Based Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223.3 Demand for Information and Limited Attention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4 What are SendersIncentives? 26
4.1 Incentives of Advertisers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264.2 Incentives in Financial Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274.3 Incentives of Financial Analysts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294.4 Incentives of the Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
5 How Does Persuasion Aect Equilibrium Outcomes? 346 Conclusion 37
1
 
Abstract
We provide a selective survey of empirical evidence on the effects as well as the drivers of persuasive communication. We consider persuasion directed at consumers, voters, donors,and investors. We organize our review around four questions. First, to what extent doespersuasion affect the behavior of each of these groups? Second, what models best capturethe response to persuasive communication? In particular, we distinguish information-basedmodels from preference-based models. Third, what are persuaders’ incentives and what limitstheir ability to distort communications? Finally, what evidence exists on the equilibriumoutcomes of persuasion in economics and politics?Keywords: Persuasion, Communication, Beliefs2

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