Dynamic Choice of Information Sources
California Institute of Technology Social Science Working Paper
44 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2016 Last revised: 6 Aug 2017
Date Written: August 4, 2017
I characterize the unique optimal learning strategy when there are two information sources, three possible states of the world, and learning is modeled as a search process. The optimal strategy consists of two phases. During the first phase, only beliefs about the state and the objective characteristics of information sources matter for the optimal choice between these sources. During the second phase, this choice also depends on how much the agent values different alternatives he has to choose from. The information sources are substitutes when each individual source is likely to reveal the state eventually and when the cost of information is low, and they are complements otherwise. Optimal delegation of information collection leads to the socially optimal outcome.
Keywords: optimal learning, sequential optimal experimental design, Poisson process, limited attention
JEL Classification: D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation