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Instantaneous Gratification

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  • Christopher Harris
  • David Laibson

Abstract

Extending Barro (1999) and Luttmer and Mariotti (2003), we introduce a new model of time preferences: the instantaneous-gratification model. This model applies tractably to a much wider range of settings than existing models. It applies to both complete- and incomplete-market settings and it works with generic utility functions. It works in settings with linear policy rules and in settings in which equilibrium cannot be supported by linear rules. The instantaneous-gratification model also generates a unique equilibrium, even in infinite-horizon applications, thereby resolving the multiplicity problem hitherto associated with dynamically inconsistent models. Finally, it simultaneously features a single welfare criterion and a behavioral tendency towards overconsumption. JEL Codes: C6, C73, D91, E21. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 321307000000000635.

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Date of creation: 08 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:321307000000000635

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  1. Kimball, Miles S, 1990. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
  2. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
  3. 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.
  4. Per Krusell & Anthony A Smith, Jr., 2001. "Consumption Savings Decisions with Quasi-Geometric Discounting," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 625018000000000251, www.najecon.org.
  5. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  6. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  7. Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
  8. Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
  9. Luttmer, Erzo G J & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Subjective Discount Factors," CEPR Discussion Papers 2503, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
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