Events at CERGE-EI

Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 | 14:00 | Micro Theory Research Seminar

Ole Jann, Ph.D. (Job Talk) “Why Echo Chambers are Useful”

Ole Jann, Ph.D.

Nuffield College, The University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Authors: Ole Jann and Christoph Schottmüller

Abstract: Why do people appear to forgo information by sorting into “echo chambers”? We construct a highly tractable multi-sender, multi-receiver cheap talk game in which players choose with whom to communicate. We show that segregation into small, homogeneous groups can improve everybody’s information and generate Pareto-improvements. Polarized preferences create a need for segregation; uncertainty about preferences and the availability of public information magnify this need. Using data from Twitter, we show several behavioral patterns that are consistent with the results of our model.

JEL: D72 (Political Processes), D82 (Asymmetric Information), D83 (Learning, Communication), D85 (Network Formation and Analysis)

Keywords: asymmetric information, echo chambers, polarization, debate, cheap talk, information aggregation, Twitter
Full Text: “Why Echo Chambers are Useful”