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A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control

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  • Fudenberg, Drew
  • Levine, David

Abstract

We propose that a simple “dual-self†model gives a unified explanation for several empirical regularities, including the apparent time inconsistency that has motivated models of quasi-hyperbolic discounting and Rabin's paradox of risk aversion in the large and small. The model also implies that self-control costs imply excess delay, as in the O'Donoghue and Rabin models of quasi-hyperbolic utility, and it explains experimental evidence that increased cognitive load makes temptations harder to resist. The base version of our model is consistent with the Gul-Pesendorfer axioms, but we argue that these axioms must be relaxed to account for the effect of cognitive load.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 3196335.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Publication status: Published in American Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3196335

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  1. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Risk Aversion and Expected-Utility Theory: A Calibration Theorem," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt731230f8, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  3. Christopher Harris & David Laibson, 2006. "Instantaneous Gratification," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000635, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Della Vigna, Stefano, 2003. "Contract Design and Self Control: Theory and Evidence," Research Papers 1801, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  5. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1996. "The Theory of Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 624, David K. Levine.
  6. Per Krusell & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2000. "Temptation and Taxation," GSIA Working Papers 2001-12, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  7. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  8. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  9. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice And Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160, February.
  10. Jawwad Noor, 2006. "Temptation, Welfare and Revealed Preference," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-025, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  11. Drazen Prelec, 2004. "Decreasing Impatience: A Criterion for Non-stationary Time Preference and "Hyperbolic" Discounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 511-532, October.
  12. Eddie Dekel, 1997. "A Unique Subjective State Space for Unforeseen Contingencies," Discussion Papers 1202, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  13. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
  14. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Overestimating Self_Control: Evidence from the Health Club Industry," NBER Working Papers 10819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Jianjun Miao, 2008. "Option exercise with temptation," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 473-501, March.
  16. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2003. "Self-control, revealed preference and consumption choice," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000362, David K. Levine.
  17. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2004. "Addiction and Cue-Triggered Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1558-1590, December.
  18. David Laibson, 2001. "A Cue-Theory Of Consumption," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 81-119, February.
  19. Shiv, Baba & Fedorikhin, Alexander, 1999. " Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 278-92, December.
  20. Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto, 2005. "Modeling internal commitment mechanisms and self-control: A neuroeconomics approach to consumption-saving decisions," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 460-492, August.
  21. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  22. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 1998. "Learning in Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2222, David K. Levine.
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