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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
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:
Contact details of provider:
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
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- James Andreoni & Ragan Petrie, 2003.
"Public Goods Experiments Without Confidentiality: A Glimpse Into Fund-Raising,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
506439000000000520, David K. Levine.
- Andreoni, James & Petrie, Ragan, 2004. "Public goods experiments without confidentiality: a glimpse into fund-raising," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1605-1623, July.
- James Andreoni, 2007.
"Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects,"
122247000000001459, UCLA Department of Economics.
- James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2009. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1607-1636, 09.
- James Andreoni & B. Douglas Bernheim, 2007. "Social Image and the 50-50 Norm: A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis of Audience Effects," Discussion Papers 07-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
- Broberg, Tomas & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus, 2007. "Is generosity involuntary?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 32-37, January.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Strategic self-ignorance
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-08-14 14:52:00
- 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
- 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.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Edgerton).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.