Listing Specs: The Effect of Framing Attributes on Choice

Abstract

Consistent evidence from various settings shows that individual decisions can depend on the order or emphasis used when presenting the attributes of available options. We introduce a model of such framing effects, which we characterize in terms of observable behavior. We show how strategic use of attribute framing affects competition in markets and outcomes of negotiations. In our framework, attribute framing can also cause choice to depend on the order in which options are listed and phenomena similar to the endowment effect. Finally, we use the model to discuss several approaches to welfare analysis.