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Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything

Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything We review literature examining the effects of laws and regulations that require public disclosure of information. These requirements are most sensibly imposed in situations characterized by misaligned incentives and asymmetric information between, for example, a buyer and seller or an advisor and advisee. We review the economic literature relevant to such disclosure and then discuss how different psychological factors complicate, and in some cases radically change, the economic predictions. For example, limited attention, motivated attention, and biased assessments of probability on the part of information recipients can significantly diminish, or even reverse, the intended effects of disclosure requirements. In many cases, disclosure does not much affect the recipients of the information but does significantly affect the behavior of the providers, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. We review research suggesting that simplified disclosure, standardized disclosure, vivid disclosure, and social comparison information can all be used to enhance the effectiveness of disclosure policies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Economics Annual Reviews

Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything

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References (170)

Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
1941-1383
eISSN
1941-1391
DOI
10.1146/annurev-economics-080213-041341
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We review literature examining the effects of laws and regulations that require public disclosure of information. These requirements are most sensibly imposed in situations characterized by misaligned incentives and asymmetric information between, for example, a buyer and seller or an advisor and advisee. We review the economic literature relevant to such disclosure and then discuss how different psychological factors complicate, and in some cases radically change, the economic predictions. For example, limited attention, motivated attention, and biased assessments of probability on the part of information recipients can significantly diminish, or even reverse, the intended effects of disclosure requirements. In many cases, disclosure does not much affect the recipients of the information but does significantly affect the behavior of the providers, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. We review research suggesting that simplified disclosure, standardized disclosure, vivid disclosure, and social comparison information can all be used to enhance the effectiveness of disclosure policies.

Journal

Annual Review of EconomicsAnnual Reviews

Published: Aug 2, 2014

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