Department of Economics
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|July 2016||The Empirical Economics of Online Attention|
with Shane Greenstein, Jeffrey Prince: w22427
In several markets, firms compete not for consumer expenditure but instead for consumer attention. We model and characterize how households allocate their scarce attention in arguably the largest market for attention: the Internet. Our characterization of household attention allocation operates along three dimensions: how much attention is allocated, where that attention is allocated, and how that attention is allocated. Using click-stream data for thousands of U.S. households, we assess if and how attention allocation on each dimension changed between 2008 and 2013, a time of large increases in online offerings. We identify vast and expected changes in where households allocate their attention (away from chat and news towards video and social media), and yet we simultaneously identify rem...