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The Optimal Consumption and the Quitting of Harmful Addictive Goods

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  • Wang Ruqu

    ()
    (Queen’s University)

Abstract

In this paper we study a model of rational consumption and quitting in the context of harmful addictive goods. We assume that a person has imperfect information about his ability to resist and terminate the addiction. We first characterize the optimal consumption path of a non-addicted person, along which his stock of the addictive substance is either always increasing (and thus addiction occurs stochastically), always decreasing, or always unchanged. We then characterize the optimal consumption path of an addicted person, along which he may attempt to quit the addiction for a period of time, and then resume his consumption if the attempt is unsuccessful. Finally, we remark on the issues of regret, multiple attempts to quit, and quitting programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-38

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:15

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  1. Iannaccone, Laurence R., 1986. "Addiction and satiation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 95-99.
  2. Clazer, J. & Weiss, A., 1992. "Conflecting Preferences and Voluntary restrictions on Choices," Papers 8, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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  7. Spinnewyn, Frans, 1981. "Rational habit formation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 91-109.
  8. Dockner, Engelbert J & Feichtinger, Gustav, 1993. "Cyclical Consumption Patterns and Rational Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 256-63, March.
  9. Heal, Geoffrey M., 1993. "The optimal use of exhaustible resources," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 18, pages 855-880 Elsevier.
  10. Winston, Gordon C., 1980. "Addiction and backsliding : A theory of compulsive consumption," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 295-324, December.
  11. Gary S.Grossman Becker & Michael Murphy & Kevin M., 1991. "Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 68, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. Leonard, Daniel, 1989. "Market behavior of rational addicts," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 117-144, March.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  14. Viscusi, W Kip, 1990. "Do Smokers Underestimate Risks?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1253-69, December.
  15. Barthold, Thomas A & Hochman, Harold M, 1988. "Addiction as Extreme-Seeking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 89-106, January.
  16. Pollak, Robert A., 1976. "Habit formation and long-run utility functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 272-297, October.
  17. Frank J. Chaloupka, 1990. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," NBER Working Papers 3268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Petrie, 2012. "When to Quit Under Uncertainty? A real options approach to smoking cessation," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 272, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  2. S. Nageeb Ali, 2009. "Learning Self-Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000384, David K. Levine.
  3. O’Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3v86x53j, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  4. Lourdes Badillo Amador & Ángel López Nicolás, 2013. "Self-control and support for anti-smoking policies among smokers, ex smokers, and never smokers," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 161-170, April.
  5. Grignon, Michel, 2009. "An empirical investigation of heterogeneity in time preferences and smoking behaviors," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 739-751, October.

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