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Procrastination and Impatience

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  • Reuben, Ernesto
  • Sapienza, Paola
  • Zingales, Luigi

Abstract

There is a large body of literature documenting both a preference for immediacy and a tendency to procrastinate. O'Donoghue and Rabin (1999a,b, 2001) and Choi et al. (2005) model these behaviours as two faces of the same phenomenon. In this paper, we use a combination of lab, field, and survey evidence to study whether these two types of behaviour are indeed linked. To measure immediacy we had subjects choose between a series of smaller-sooner and larger-later rewards. Both rewards were paid with a check in order to control for transaction costs. To measure procrastination we use the subjects' actual behaviour in cashing the check and completing tasks on time. Our results lend support to the hypothesis that subjects who have a preference for immediacy are indeed more likely to procrastinate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6668.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6668

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Keywords: behaviour; impatience; procrastination;

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References

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  1. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice And Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160, February.
  2. James Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2005. "Optimal Defaults and Active Decisions," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000488, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1999. "Incentives For Procrastinators," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 769-816, August.
  4. Daniel J. Benjamin & Sebastian A. Brown & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Who is “Behavioral”? Cognitive Ability and Anomalous Preferences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001334, David K. Levine.
  5. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
  7. Maribeth Coller & Melonie Williams, 1999. "Eliciting Individual Discount Rates," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 107-127, December.
  8. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  9. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  10. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers, Economic Growth Center, Yale University 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  11. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  12. James J. Choi & David Laibson & Brigitte C. Madrian & Andrew Metrick, 2004. "Saving or Retirement on the Path of Least Resistance," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000606, UCLA Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & Geoffrey W. Fisher, 2010. "Religious Identity and Economic Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Halevy, Yoram, 2012. "Time Consistency: Stationarity and Time Invariance," Microeconomics.ca working papers, Vancouver School of Economics yoram_halevy-2012-19, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 10 Sep 2014.
  3. Novarese, Marco & Di Giovinazzo, Viviana, 2013. "Promptness and Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 49746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. repec:ran:wpaper:895 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Reuben, Ernesto & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Time discounting for primary and monetary rewards," MPRA Paper 10650, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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