Daniel J. Martin

Northwestern University
Kellogg School of Management
2211 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Northwestern University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2018Complex Disclosure
with Ginger Zhe Jin, Michael Luca: w24675
We present evidence that complex disclosure can result from the strategic incentives to shroud information. We implement an experiment where senders are required to report their private information truthfully but can choose how complex to make their reports. We find that senders use complex disclosure over half the time. Most of this obfuscation is profitable because receivers make systematic mistakes in assessing complex reports. Receivers understand that senders are using complexity to hide bad news. However, strategic complexity is still effective, which can be attributed to receivers being overconfident in their ability to process complex information.
April 2015Is No News (Perceived as) Bad News? An Experimental Investigation of Information Disclosure
with Ginger Zhe Jin, Michael Luca: w21099
This paper uses laboratory experiments to directly test a central prediction of disclosure theory: that strategic forces can lead those who possess private information to voluntarily provide it. In a simple two-person disclosure game, we find that senders disclose favorable information, but withhold less favorable information. The degree to which senders withhold information is strongly related to their stated beliefs about receiver actions, and their stated beliefs are accurate on average. Receiver actions are also strongly related to their stated beliefs, but receiver actions and beliefs suggest they are insufficiently skeptical about non-disclosed information in the absence of repeated feedback.
April 2012Defaults and Attention: The Drop Out Effect
with Andrew Caplin: w17988
When choice options are complex, policy makers may seek to reduce decision making errors by making a high quality option the default. We show that this positive effect is at risk because such a policy creates incentives for decision makers to "drop out" by paying no attention to the decision and accepting the default sight unseen. Using decision time as a proxy for attention, we confirm the importance of this effect in an experimental setting. A key challenge for policy makers is to measure, and if possible mitigate, such drop out behavior in the field.

Published: Andrew Caplin & Daniel Martin, 2017. "Defaults and Attention: The Drop Out Effect," Revue économique, vol 68(5).

June 2011A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception
with Andrew Caplin: w17163
We introduce a rational choice theory that allows for many forms of imperfect perception, including failures of memory, selective attention, and adherence to simplifying rules of thumb. Despite its generality, the theory has strong, simple, and intuitive implications for standard choice data and for more enriched choice data. The central assumption is rational expectations: decision makers understand the relationship between their perceptions, however limited they may be, and the (stochastic) consequences of their available choices. Our theory separately identifies two distinct "framing" effects: standard effects involving the layout of the prizes (e.g. order in a list) and novel effects relating to the information content of the environment (e.g. how likely is the first in the list to be ...

Caplin, Andrew, and Daniel Martin (2014), “A Testable Theory of Imperfect Perception,” The Economic Journal, forthcoming. citation courtesy of

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