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Risk, Delay, and Convex Self-Control Costs

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  • Drew Fudenberg
  • David K. Levine

Abstract

We develop a dual-self model of self-control that is compatible with modern dynamic macroeconomic theory and evidence. We show that a convex cost of self-control explains a wide range of behavioral anomalies concerning risk, including the Allais paradox, and also explains the observed interaction between risk and delay. We calibrate the model to obtain a quantitative fit. We find that most of the data can be explained with subjective interest rates in the range of 1-7 percent, short-run relative risk aversion of about two, and a time horizon of one day for the short-run self. (JEL D11, D44, D81)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mic.3.3.34
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 34-68

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmic:v:3:y:2011:i:3:p:34-68

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.34
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References

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  1. Adrian Bruhin & Helga Fehr-Duda & Thomas Epper, 2007. "Risk and Rationality: Uncovering Heterogeneity in Probability Distortion," SOI - Working Papers 0705, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2007.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Raj Chetty & Adam Szeidl, 2006. "Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences," NBER Working Papers 12467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  5. Battalio, Raymond C & Kagel, John H & Jiranyakul, Komain, 1990. " Testing between Alternative Models of Choice under Uncertainty: Some Initial Results," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 25-50, March.
  6. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2005. "The Brain as a Hierarchical Organization," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000205, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
  8. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  9. Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0012001, EconWPA.
  10. Andrew Postlewaite & Larry Samuelson & Dan Silverman, 2004. "Consumption, Commitmants and Preferences for Risk," NBER Working Papers 10527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D, 2005. "The Brain as a Hierarchical Organization," CEPR Discussion Papers 5168, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2005. "The Brain as a Hierarchical Organization," Levine's Bibliography 172782000000000073, UCLA Department of Economics.
  13. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
  14. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  15. Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted, 2004. "Animal Spirits: Affective and Deliberative Processes in Economic Behavior," Working Papers 04-14, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  16. Manel Baucells & Franz Heukamp, 2010. "Common ratio using delay," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 68(1), pages 149-158, February.
  17. Shiv, Baba & Fedorikhin, Alexander, 1999. " Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 278-92, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tim Friehe & Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch, 2014. "Crime and Self-Control Revisited: Disentangling the Effect of Self-Control on Risk and Social Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 4747, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Drichoutis, Andreas C. & Nayga, Rodolfo M., 2013. "Eliciting risk and time preferences under induced mood states," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 18-27.
  3. S. Nageeb Ali, 2011. "Learning Self-Control," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 857-893.
  4. Alexandrer Groves, 2013. "Identifying What is Tempting," 2013 Papers pgr489, Job Market Papers.
  5. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D Carrillo, 2007. "Reason, Emotion, and Information Processing in the Brain," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001594, David K. Levine.
  6. Brocas, Isabelle & Carrillo, Juan D, 2007. "Reason, Emotion and Information Processing in the Brain," CEPR Discussion Papers 6535, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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