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Commitment and Self-Control

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  • Jawwad Noor

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

Abstract

The literature on self-control problems has typically concentrated on immediate temptations. This paper studies a Gul and Pesendorfer [13, 14] style model in which decision-makers are affected by temptations that lie in the future. While temptation is commonly understood to give rise to a demand for commitment, it is shown that ‘temptation by future consumption’ can induce its absence. The model also exhibits procrastination, provides an alternative to projection bias as an explanation for some experimental results, and can simultaneously account for myopic and hyperopic behavior. The evidence on preference reversals supports temptation by future consumption, and suggests that it may not be restricted to short time horizons. .

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2005-014.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2005-014

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Keywords: Self-Control; Temptation; Commitment; Preference Reversals; Procrastination.;

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References

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  1. Ted O' Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," Microeconomics, EconWPA 0012002, EconWPA.
  2. James M. Poterba & Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2001. "The Transition to Personal Accounts and Increasing Retirement Wealth: Macro and Micro Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  4. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Projection Bias In Predicting Future Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1209-1248, November.
  5. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2000. "The Life Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 28, McMaster University.
  6. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers, Economics Department, Princeton University 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  7. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  8. Kivetz, Ran & Simonson, Itamar, 2002. " Self-Control for the Righteous: Toward a Theory of Precommitment to Indulgence," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 199-217, September.
  9. Narayana R. Kocherlakota., 2001. "Looking for evidence of time-inconsistent preferences in asset market data," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 13-24.
  10. Read, Daniel & van Leeuwen, Barbara, 1998. "Predicting Hunger: The Effects of Appetite and Delay on Choice, , , ," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-205, November.
  11. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  12. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers, Economics Department, Princeton University 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  13. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  14. Venti, Steven F & Wise, David A, 1990. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving? Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 661-98, August.
  15. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2007. "Harmful Addiction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 147-172.
  16. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Krusell, Per & Kuruscu, Burhanettin & Smith, Anthony Jr., 2002. "Time orientation and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-135, January.
  18. 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.
  19. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
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  1. Between a rock and a hard place
    by ? in Nudge blog on 2008-04-16 12:00:00
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