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Cognitive constraints in the Market for News Benito Arruñada, UPF February 4, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive constraints in the Market for News Benito Arruñada, UPF February 4, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive constraints in the Market for News Benito Arruñada, UPF February 4, 2010

2 Nuanced demand for news ▪ Information ♦Rationalistic view: weighing balance of info acquisition to ponder pros and cons, etc. ▪ Entertainment (?): in fact, demand for information suited to human nature: ♦Gossip-driven: Recurrent themes of fiction   Structure of demand ♦Herding-driven: Confirmation of prior beliefs   Common beliefs, conversion

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4 Effects of media competition (Mullainathan & Shleifer, AER, ‘05) ▪ Media are able to ♦slant news and ♦strive to confirm beliefs ▪ If, within a society, beliefs are ♦Homogenous  biased media with the same bias ♦Heterogeneous  biased media with different biases  impartial reader gets well informed by reading several sources

5 Beliefs in action ▪ Beliefs ♦Big firms are the devil: news about denounces to vs. acquittals of big firms ♦The sainthood of the UN ♦David better than Goliath ▪ The swine flu case ♦WHO (World Health Organization) initially treated as part of UN … but finally tainted by the touch of the devil (the pharmaceutical companies)

6 H1N1 Scare A Pharma Scam? COUNCIL OF EUROPE 26/01/2010Winter session: January 2010 ▪ WHO challenged at public hearing on the handling of the Swine Flu pandemic ♦"Are decisions on pandemics taken on the best scientific evidence only?" was the question asked today at a public hearing of PACE's Committee on Social, Health and Family Affairs into the handling of the H1N1 pandemic. The World Health Organisation's flu chief defended his organisation, saying its advice was not improperly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. Paul Flynn (United Kingdom, SOC) will now prepare a report on this topic, for possible debate by the plenary Assembly in July or October ♦See and especially

7 The following slides present a different example illustrative of the importance of understanding the nature of the “demand” you are facing, not only in news but also in advertising: Was not the second campaign (“In Spain We Trust”) underestimating the audience, perhaps assuming it was similar to the audience of the first (“PLanĒ”) campaign?

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