Futile Attempts at Self-Control
AbstractWe investigate costly yet futile attempts at self-control when consumption of a harmful product has a binary breakdown/no-breakdown nature and individuals tend to underestimate their need for self-control. Considering time-inconsistent preferences as well as temptation disutility, we show that becoming more sophisticated can decrease welfare and investigate what kind of mistaken beliefs lead to low welfare. With time-inconsistent preferences, being close to perfectly understanding one's preferences but assigning zero probability to true preferences induces the worst outcome. (JEL: D03, D11, D91) (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.
Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04-05)
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
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