AbstractWe examine strategic self-ignorance—the use of ignorance as an excuse to over-indulge in pleasurable activities that may be harmful to one’s future self. Our model shows that guilt aversion provides a behavioral rationale for present-biased agents to avoid information about negative future impacts of such activities. We then confront our model with data from an experiment using prepared, restaurant-style meals—a good that is transparent in immediate pleasure (taste) but non-transparent in future harm (calories). Our results support the notion that strategic self-ignorance matters: nearly three of five subjects (58 percent) chose to ignore free information on calorie content, leading at-risk subjects to consume significantly more calories. We also find evidence consistent with our model on the determinants of strategic self-ignorance.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2013:17.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 28 May 2013
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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Experiment; Information; Ignorance;
Other versions of this item:
- Thunstrom, Linda & Nordstrom, Jonas & Shogren, Jason F. & Ehmke, Mariah D., 2012. "Strategic Self-Ignorance," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123949, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
- D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2013-06-16 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2013-06-16 (Experimental Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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- Carrillo, Juan D & Mariotti, Thomas, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 529-44, July.
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Is obesity an information problem?
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-06-27 14:16:00
by himaginary in himaginaryの日記 on 2012-06-29 07:00:00
- Strategic self-ignorance
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-08-14 14:52:00
- Thunström, Linda & van 't Veld, Klaas & Shogren, Jason F. & Nordström, Jonas, 2013. "On Strategic Ignorance of Environmental Harm and Social Norms," Working Papers 2013:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
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