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Self-Deception and Choice

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  • Igor Kopylov
  • Jawwad Noor

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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Paper provided by David K. Levine in its series Levine's Working Paper Archive with number 814577000000000319.

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Date of creation: 10 Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levarc:814577000000000319

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  1. Brunnermeier, Markus K & Parker, Jonathan A, 2004. "Optimal Expectation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4656, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kopylov Igor, 2009. "Temptations in General Settings," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, September.
  3. Eddie Dekel, 1997. "A Unique Subjective State Space for Unforeseen Contingencies," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1202, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Noor, Jawwad, 2007. "Commitment and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 1-34, July.
  5. Jawwad Noor, 2005. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Microeconomics, EconWPA 0509009, EconWPA.
  6. Kopylov, Igor, 2009. "Finite additive utility representations for preferences over menus," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 354-374, January.
  7. Larry Epstein, 2002. "An Axiomatic Model of Non-Bayesian Updating," RCER Working Papers 498, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER), revised Jan 2005.
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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. Zak, F., 2014. "Psychological Games in the Theory of Choice: Temptation, Perfectionism, Self-deception," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 12-32.
  3. Barbos, Andrei, 2010. "A Reference Dependent Representation with Subjective Tastes," MPRA Paper 23850, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Feb 2010.
  4. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman, 2010. "How (Not) to Do Decision Theory," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 257-282, 09.
  5. Dag Sommervoll, 2013. "Sweet self-deception," Journal of Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 73-88, May.
  6. Barton L. Lipman & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2010. "Temptation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics WP2010-021, Boston University - Department of Economics.

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