An Economic Approach to the Psychology of Change: Amnesia, Inertia, and Impulsiveness
AbstractThis paper examines the effect of memory loss on the continuity of behavior. We consider a player (individual or firm) who remembers previous actions but not underlying rationales. In a stable environment, relative to a full-recall scenario, memory loss increases the probability of following old policies (inertia). In a volatile environment, memory loss can decrease this probability (impulsiveness). The model provides a memory-loss explanation for some documented psychological biases, implies that inertia and organizational routines should be more important in stable environments than in volatile ones, and provides empirical implications relating memory and environmental variables to economic decisions. Copyright (c) 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economics & Management Strategy.
Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/research/journals/JEMS/
Other versions of this item:
- David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2001. "An Economic Approach to the Psychology of Change: Amnesia, Inertia, and Impulsiveness," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1306, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2001. "An Economic Approach to the Psychology of Change: Amnesia, Inertia, and Impulsiveness," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm185, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Aug 2009.
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
- D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
- Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992.
"A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
- Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
- Smith, L, 1996.
"Social Learning in a Changing World,"
96-34, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1988. "Innovation in Large and Small Firms: An Empirical Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 678-90, September.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000.
"Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt5qh6142m, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Working Papers 02-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
- George Loewenstein, Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Economics Working Papers E00-284, University of California at Berkeley.
- Rasmusen, Eric, 1992. "Managerial Conservatism and Rational Information Acquisition," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 175-201, Spring.
- Dow, James, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, January.
- Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2000.
"The Power of Suggestion: Inertia in 401(k) Participation and Savings Behavior,"
NBER Working Papers
7682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
- Kuran, Timur, 1987. "Preference Falsification, Policy Continuity and Collective Conservatism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 642-65, September.
- Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
- Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "A Reprise of Size and R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 925-51, July.
- Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
- Donald C. Hambrick & Richard A. D'Aveni, 1992. "Top Team Deterioration as Part of the Downward Spiral of Large Corporate Bankruptcies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(10), pages 1445-1466, October.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1990. "Experimental Tests of the Endowment Effect and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1325-48, December.
- Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "A Memory-Based Model Of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 735-774, August.
- Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
- John Smith, 2007. "Cognitive Dissonance, Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Departmental Working Papers 200705, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Hirshleifer, David & Teoh, Siew Hong, 2008.
"Thought and Behavior Contagion in Capital Markets,"
9164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- John Smith, 2009.
"Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments,"
Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE),
Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 165(4), pages 684-700, December.
- John Smith, 2008. "Imperfect Memory and the Preference for Increasing Payments," Departmental Working Papers 200805, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
- Sgroi, D., 2002. "Modelling Experience as Signal Accumulation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0205, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
- Carlos Alós-Ferrer & Fei Shi, 2012. "Imitation with asymmetric memory," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 193-215, January.
- Ivo Welch, 2002. "Columbus' Egg: The Real Determinant of Capital Structure," NBER Working Papers 8782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.