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Procrastination on long-term projects

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  • O'Donoghue, Ted
  • Rabin, Matthew

Abstract

We investigate naive procrastination on projects with multiple stages. In addition to classic procrastination in starting projects, naive people might undertake costly effort to begin projects but then never finish. Procrastination is more likely when the costs of completing different stages are more unequal, and it is when later stages are more costly that people start but do not finish projects. Moreover, if the cost structure is endogenous, people are prone to choose cost structures that lead them to start but not finish projects. Some extensions further illustrate how people may incur costs on projects they never complete.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 161-175

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:66:y:2008:i:2:p:161-175

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Cited by:
  1. Akin, Zafer, 2012. "Intertemporal decision making with present biased preferences," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 30-47.
  2. Fabian Herweg & Daniel Müller, 2008. "Performance of Procrastinators: On the Value of Deadlines," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse3_2008, University of Bonn, Germany.
  3. Philipp Weinschenk, 2010. "Increasing Workload in a Stochastic Environment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_43, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

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