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Self-Deception and Choice

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Author Info

  • Jawwad Noor

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Boston University)

  • Igor Kopylov

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California, Irvine)

Abstract

The temptation literature has provided models where desires attain satisfaction by commanding the agent’s attention. We consider a model of self-deception, where desires command the agent’s reasoning, leading her to rationalize and justify actions that eventually lead into temptation. Formally, we write axioms for a three-period extension of Gul and Pesendorfer’s (2001) framework and obtain a special functional form for the temptation utility at the interim stage. The representation portrays an agent who is tempted (i) to relax her normative attitude towards future indulgence and (ii) to turn a blind eye to any possibility of temptation altogether. Welfare implications of self-deception are discussed.

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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 WP2010-042.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-042

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References

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  1. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Optimal Expectations," Working Papers 146, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  2. Jawwad Noor, 2006. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-025, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Larry Epstein, 2005. "An Axiomatic Model of Non-Bayesian Updating," RCER Working Papers 521, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Commitment and Self-Control," Microeconomics 0509008, EconWPA.
  5. Eddie Dekel, 1997. "A Unique Subjective State Space for Unforeseen Contingencies," Discussion Papers 1202, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
  7. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Stovall, John, 2014. "Temptation with Uncertain Normative Preferences," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1036, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2009. "How (Not) to Do Decision Theory," Levine's Working Paper Archive 814577000000000339, David K. Levine.
  3. Barbos, Andrei, 2010. "A Reference Dependent Representation with Subjective Tastes," MPRA Paper 23850, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Feb 2010.
  4. Barton L. Lipman & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Temptation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2010-021, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Zak, F., 2014. "Psychological Games in the Theory of Choice: Temptation, Perfectionism, Self-deception," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 12-32.

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