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Choice And Procrastination

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  • Ted O'Donoghue
  • Matthew Rabin

Abstract

Recent models of procrastination due to self-control problems assume that a procrastinator considers just one option and is unaware of her self-control problems. We develop a model where a person chooses from a menu of options and is partially aware of her self-control problems. This menu model replicates earlier results and generates new ones. A person might forgo completing an attractive option because she plans to complete a more attractive but never-to-be-completed option. Hence, providing a nonprocrastinator additional options can induce procrastination, and a person may procrastinate worse pursuing important goals than unimportant ones. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 116 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 121-160

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:121-160

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  1. Thaler, Richard, 1981. "Some empirical evidence on dynamic inconsistency," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 201-207.
  2. Brigitte C. Madrian & Dennis F. Shea, 2001. "THE POWER OF SUGGESTION: INERTIA IN 401(k) PARTICIPATION AND SAVINGS BEHAVIOR," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1149-1187, November.
  3. Loewenstein, George & Thaler, Richard H, 1989. "Intertemporal Choice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 181-93, Fall.
  4. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
  5. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  6. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
  8. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  9. Goldman, Steven Marc, 1979. "Intertemporally Inconsistent Preferences and the Rate of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(3), pages 621-26, May.
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