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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. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  2. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  3. 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.
  4. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Choice and Procrastination," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5r26k54p, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  7. 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, vol. 29(2), pages 199-217, September.
  8. George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
  9. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  10. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  11. Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., . "Time Orientation and Asset Prices," GSIA Working Papers 2001-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  12. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  13. Narayana R. Kocherlakota., 2001. "Looking for evidence of time-inconsistent preferences in asset market data," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 13-24.
  14. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  15. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Have IRAs Increased U.S. Saving?: Evidence from Consumer Expenditure Surveys," NBER Working Papers 2217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2007. "Harmful Addiction," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 147-172.
  17. 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.
  18. Sendhil Mullainathan & Richard H. Thaler, 2000. "Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 7948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Read, Daniel & van Leeuwen, Barbara, 1998. "Predicting Hunger: The Effects of Appetite and Delay on Choice, , , ," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 189-205, November.
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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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