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Persuasion bias, social influence, and uni-dimensional opinions

DeMarzo, Peter M., Vayanos, Dimitri and Zwiebel, Jeffrey (2003) Persuasion bias, social influence, and uni-dimensional opinions. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118 (3). pp. 909-968. ISSN 1531-4650

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Abstract

We propose a boundedly rational model of opinion formation in which individuals are subject to persuasion bias; that is, they fail to account for possible repetition in the information they receive. We show that persuasion bias implies the phenomenon of social influence, whereby one’s influence on group opinions depends not only on accuracy, but also on how well-connected one is in the social network that determines communication. Persuasion bias also implies the phenomenon of unidimensional opinions; that is, individuals’ opinions over a multidimensional set of issues converge to a single “left-right” spectrum. We explore the implications of our model in several natural settings, including political science and marketing, and we obtain a number of novel empirical implications.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/QJE
Additional Information: Published 2003 © MIT Press. LSE has developed LSE Research Online so that users may access research output of the School. Copyright © and Moral Rights for the papers on this site are retained by the individual authors and/or other copyright owners. Users may download and/or print one copy of any article(s) in LSE Research Online to facilitate their private study or for non-commercial research. You may not engage in further distribution of the material or use it for any profit-making activities or any commercial gain. You may freely distribute the URL (http://eprints.lse.ac.uk) of the LSE Research Online website.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Sets: Departments > Accounting and Finance
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2005
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/454/

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