Deadlines and distractions
AbstractWe consider a task, demanding a sequence of efforts, that must be completed by a deadline. Effort is not contractible. Agents face shocks to their opportunity cost of time and are sometimes distracted from work. We show that agents who are often distracted may outperform agents who are distracted less often. The reason is that anticipation of distractions induces agents to start earlier for precautionary reasons. Principals can increase the probability of completion, and achieve higher profits, by strategically setting "tight" deadlines, provided that the deadlines can be extended with some positive probability.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.
Volume (Year): 143 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869
Deadlines Time-consistency Timing of effort Optimal incentives;
Other versions of this item:
- Maria Saez-Marti & Anna Sjögren, 2007. "Deadlines and Distractions," IEW - Working Papers 347, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Saez-Marti, Maria & Sjögren, Anna, 2004. "Deadlines and Distractions," Working Paper Series 618, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 01 Jul 2004.
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - General
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.:
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- Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
- Sjögren, Anna & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2004. "On the Timing of Education," Working Paper Series 614, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Kyle Hyndman & Alberto Bisin, 2009.
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- Bisin, Alberto & Hyndman, Kyle, 2009. "Procrastination, self-imposed deadlines and other commitment devices," MPRA Paper 16235, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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