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The Resolution Game: A Dual Selves Perspective

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  • Dimitri Migrow

    ()
    (Department of Economics, The University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK)

  • Matthias Uhl

    ()
    (Max Planck Institute of Economics, Kahlaische Stra├če 10, 07745 Jena, Germany)

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    Abstract

    This article explains the emergence of an unique equilibrium resolution as the result of a compromise between two selves with different preferences. The stronger this difference is, the more generous the resolution gets. This result is in contrast to predictions of other models in which sinful consumption is distributed bimodally. Therefore, our result fits better with our daily observations concerning a lot of ambivalent goods where we often form nonrigid resolutions. The normative analysis uses the device of a hypothetical impartial self that regards both conflicting motives as equally legitimate. The result of this analysis is dilemmatic. It demonstrates that the resolution is broken too often to be welfare maximal. However, the introduction of external self-commitment devices results in their overuse and is welfare decreasing.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 452-462

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:2:y:2011:i:4:p:452-462:d:15168

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    Related research

    Keywords: dual selves; resolutions; self-control; impartiality;

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    References

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    1. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Frank, Bjorn, 1996. "The use of internal games: The case of addiction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 651-660, November.
    3. Read, Daniel, 2006. "Which side are you on? The ethics of self-command," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 681-693, October.
    4. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    5. Gruber, Jonathan & Koszegi, Botond, 2004. "Tax incidence when individuals are time-inconsistent: the case of cigarette excise taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1959-1987, August.
    6. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
    7. 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.
    8. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
    9. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2005. "Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Non-Standard Decision-Makers," Discussion Papers 04-033, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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