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Deadlines and Distractions

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Author Info

  • Saez-Marti, Maria

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Sjögren, Anna

    ()
    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of deadlines on timing of effort when agents are occasionaly distracted. We show that agents precautiously work early when completion of the task is uncertain, but rather likely. Agents who are rarely distracted will always postpone effort since the risk of not completing is small. As a result, increasing the probability of being distracted may even increase the likelihood of meeting the deadline. We further show that introducing the possibility of having the deadline extended may improve the total probability of completing the task without reducing the probability of completing within the originally announced deadline.

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File URL: http://www.ifn.se/Wfiles/wp/WP618.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 618.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 13 Apr 2004
Date of revision: 01 Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0618

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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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Keywords: Deadlines; Timing of Effort; Optimal Incentives;

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References

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  1. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Later: Procrastination with Time-Consistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-19, Resources For the Future.
  2. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2006. "Time of the essence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 129(1), pages 252-272, July.
  3. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1997. "Incentives for Procrastinators," Discussion Papers 1181, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2007. "A theory of optimal deadlines," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 493-513, February.
  5. Sjögren, Anna & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2004. "On the Timing of Education," Working Paper Series 614, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
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Cited by:
  1. Kyle Hyndman & Alberto Bisin, 2009. "Procrastination, Self-Imposed Deadlines and Other Commitment Devices," Departmental Working Papers 0904, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.

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