Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility
AbstractPeople underappreciate how their own behavior and exogenous factors affect their future utility, and thus exaggerate the degree to which their future preferences resemble their current preferences. We present evidence which demonstrates the prevalence of such projection bias, and develop a formal model that draws out both descriptive and welfare implications of the bias. The model helps interpret established behavioral anomalies such as the endowment effect, and helps to explain commonly observed suboptimal patterns of behavior such as addiction and excessive pursuit of a high material standard of living. The model also suggests potentially welfare-improving policies, such as mandatory "cooling-off periods" for certain types of consumer decisions.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt5qh6142m.
Date of creation: 06 Jun 2000
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Addiction; consumption; cooling off; misprediction; projection bias; reference dependence;
Other versions of this item:
- George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," General Economics and Teaching 0012003, EconWPA.
- George Loewenstein, Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Economics Working Papers E00-284, University of California at Berkeley.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Working Papers 02-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- B49 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Other
- D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth - - - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
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