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Addiction and Cue-Conditioned Cognitive Processes

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  • B. Douglas Bernheim
  • Antonio Rangel

Abstract

We propose an economic theory of addiction based on the premise that cognitive mechanisms such as attention affect behavior independently of preferences. We argue that the theory is consistent with foundational evidence (e.g. from neurosciencee and psychology) concerning the nature of decision-making and addiction. The model is analytically tractable, and it accounts for a broad range of stylized facts concerning addiction. It also generates a plausible qualitative mapping from the characteristics of substances into consumption patterns, thereby providing a basis for empirical tests. Finally, the theory provides a clear standard for evaluating social welfare, and it has a number of striking policy implications.

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Paper provided by www.najecon.org in its series NajEcon Working Paper Reviews with number 666156000000000052.

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Date of creation: 14 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:najeco:666156000000000052

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  1. Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Working Papers 02-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  2. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  3. David Laibson, 2001. "A Cue-Theory Of Consumption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 81-119, February.
  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. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  6. Athanasios Orphanides & David Zervos, 1992. "Rational addiction with learning and regret," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 216, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  9. Jeffrey A. Miron & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1995. "The Economic Case against Drug Prohibition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 175-192, Fall.
  10. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Addiction and Present-Biased Preferences," Game Theory and Information 0303005, EconWPA.
  11. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  12. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Steven M. Suranovic & Robert S. Goldfarb, 2005. "A Behavioral Model of Cyclical Dieting," HEW 0511002, EconWPA.
  2. Kevin X. D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Qi Zhu, 2006. "Temptation and self-control: some evidence and applications," Staff Report 367, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Kevin X. D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Qi Zhu, 2005. "Temptation and Self-Control: Some Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey," Emory Economics 0507, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  4. David Backus & Bryan Routledge & Stanley Zin, 2004. "Exotic Preferences for Macroeconomists," Working Papers 04-20, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2005. "The Case for Mindless Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 784828000000000581, David K. Levine.
  6. D.Dragone, 2005. "Incoerenza Dinamica ed Autocontrollo: Proposta per un'Analisi Interdisciplinare," Working Papers 549, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  7. John Whalley, 2005. "Rationality, Irrationality and Economic Cognition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1445, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Ciccarelli, Carlo & Giamboni, Luigi & Waldmann, Robert, 2007. "Cigarette smoking, pregnancy, forward looking behavior and dynamic inconsistency," MPRA Paper 8878, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Kuhnen, Camelia & Knutson, Brian, 2008. "The Influence of Affect on Beliefs, Preferences and Financial Decisions," MPRA Paper 10410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Smith, Trenton G. & Tasnadi, Attila, 2005. "A Theory of Natural Addiction," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19195, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  11. Grignon, Michel, 2009. "An empirical investigation of heterogeneity in time preferences and smoking behaviors," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 739-751, October.
  12. Camelia Kuhnen & Brian Knutson, 2005. "The Neural Basis of Financial Risk Taking," Experimental 0509001, EconWPA.
  13. Trenton Smith & Young H. Lee, 2006. "Why are Americans Addicted to Baseball? An Empirical Analysis of Fandom in Korea and the U.S," Working Papers 2006-05, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
  14. Pirouz, Dante, 2004. "The Neuroscience of Consumer Decision-Making," MPRA Paper 2181, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Jan 2006.
  15. López Rafael, 2006. "Addiction and Self-Control: An Intrapersonal Game," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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