The Absent-Minded Consumer
AbstractWe present evidence that many households have only a vague notion of what they are spending on various consumption items. We then develop a life-cycle model that captures this absent-mindedness'. The model generates precautionary spending, whereby absent-minded agents tend to consume more than attentive ones. The model also predicts fluctuations over time in the level of attention, and thereby sheds new light on the sharp reduction in consumption both at retirement, and in cyclical downturns. Finally, we find patterns of attention in the data that are consistent with those predicted by the model.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10216.
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- D9 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice and Growth
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-01-12 (All new papers)
- NEP-COM-2004-01-12 (Industrial Competition)
- NEP-DGE-2004-01-12 (Dynamic General Equilibrium)
- NEP-MAC-2004-01-12 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-MIC-2004-01-12 (Microeconomics)
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.:
- Huck, S. & Müller, W., 2002.
"Absent-minded drivers in the lab: Testing Gilboa's model,"
Open Access publications from Tilburg University
urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-122964, Tilburg University.
- Huck, Steffen & Müller, Wieland, 2000. "Absent-minded drivers in the lab: Testing Gilboa's model," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,45, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
- Erich Battistin, 2003.
"Errors in survey reports of consumption expenditures,"
IFS Working Papers
W03/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Erich Battistin, 2002. "Errors in Survey Reports of Consumption Expenditures," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C4-2, International Conferences on Panel Data.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Gugliemo Weber, 2002.
"Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys,"
CAM Working Papers
2002-05, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2003. "Asking consumption questions in general purpose surveys," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(491), pages F540-F567, November.
- Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley & Guglielmo Weber, 2002. "Asking Consumption Questions in General Purpose Surveys," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 77, McMaster University.
- Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001.
"Temptation and Self-Control,"
Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
- Banks, James & Blundell, Richard & Tanner, Sarah, 1998.
"Is There a Retirement-Savings Puzzle?,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 769-88, September.
- John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2003.
"Wealth Accumulation And The Propensity To Plan,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1007-1047, August.
- Erich Battistin & Raffaele Miniaci & Guglielmo Weber, 2003.
"What do we learn from recall consumption data?,"
Temi di discussione (Economic working papers)
466, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Laibson, David I., 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Narayana R. Kocherlakota, 1996.
"Money is memory,"
218, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Rubinstein, Ariel, 1995.
"On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall,"
Mathematical Social Sciences,
Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 324-324, December.
- Piccione, Michele & Rubinstein, Ariel, 1997. "On the Interpretation of Decision Problems with Imperfect Recall," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, July.
- John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2007.
"Retirement Consumption: Insights from a Survey,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 265-274, May.
- Kimball, Miles S, 1990.
"Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large,"
Econometric Society, vol. 58(1), pages 53-73, January.
- Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dow, James, 1991. "Search Decisions with Limited Memory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 1-14, January.
- John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy & Tom Tyler, 2004. "Measuring Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 10514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.