Skewness and Intrinsic Preferences for Information

Yusufcan Masatlioglu, Yesim Orhun, and Collin Raymond, American Economic Review 113(10), 2615-44, October .


We examine whether people have an intrinsic preference for negatively skewed or posi-
tively skewed information structures and how these preferences relate to intrinsic preferences
for informativeness. The results from lab experiments show a strong intrinsic preference for
positively skewed information and suggest that providing such information can improve
information uptake. Evidence from field studies in decision- and ego-relevant contexts replicate these findings. We discuss our findings through the lens of existing theories and the
potential trade-offs in information provision policies.

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