Present-Bias, Procrastination and Deadlines in a Field Experiment
AbstractWe study procrastination in the context of a field experiment involving students who must exert costly effort to complete certain tasks by a fixed deadline. Students display a strong demand for commitment in the form of self-imposed deadlines. However, deadlines appear not to increase task completion rates. Students who report themselves as being more disorganized delay task completion significantly more. We estimate that the fraction of students displaying present bias in our sample is over 40%. Furthermore, we structurally estimate present bias and other possible behavioral aspects of students' decision making by fitting the experimental data on both completion rates and failed attempts through a stylized stopping time choice model. The point estimate of present bias is 30% in our preferred specification. Present-bias appears, however, not to significantly affect behavior in the context of repeated similar tasks. This suggests various frame effects whereby repeated similar task activate internal self-control. Beyond present bias, our results indicate that other behavioral characteristics play an important role in inducing procrastination.
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 19874.
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Note: CH ED
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
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics; Underlying Principles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-02-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2014-02-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2014-02-02 (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.:
- Roland Benabou and Jean Tirole, 2004.
"Willpower and Personal Rules,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 848-886, August.
- Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Jonathan Morduch, 2008.
"Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence From Rural India,"
Working Papers IES
2008/28, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Nov 2008.
- Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Jonathan Morduch, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1118-39, April.
- Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 4901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alessandro Tarozzi & Aprajit Mahajan, 2011. "Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets," Working Papers 11-14, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Casari, Marco, 2006.
"Pre-Commitment and Flexibility in a Time Decision Experiment,"
Purdue University Economics Working Papers
1183, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
- Marco Casari, 2009. "Pre-commitment and flexibility in a time decision experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 117-141, April.
- Gine, Xavier & Karlan, Dean & Zinman, Jonathan, 2009.
"Put your money where your butt is : a commitment contract for smoking cessation,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
4985, The World Bank.
- Xavier Gin� & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Put Your Money Where Your Butt Is: A Commitment Contract for Smoking Cessation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 213-35, October.
- Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2001.
"Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment,"
NCEE Working Paper Series
200102, National Center for Environmental Economics, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, revised Nov 2001.
- Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
- Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & Elisabet Rutstrom & Melonie Williams, 2002. "Estimating individual discount rates in denmark: A field experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00062, The Field Experiments Website.
- Benhabib, Jess & Bisin, Alberto & Schotter, Andrew, 2010. "Present-bias, quasi-hyperbolic discounting, and fixed costs," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 205-223, July.
- Stefano DellaVigna, 2009.
"Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
- Houser, Daniel & Schunk, Daniel & Winter, Joachim & Xiao, Erte, 2010.
"Temptation and Commitment in the Laboratory,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
19377, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011.
"Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-90, October.
- Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Burger, Nicholas & Charness, Gary & Lynham, John, 2011. "Field and online experiments on self-control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 393-404, March.
- Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006.
"Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
- Nava Ashaf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2004. "Tying odysseus to the mast: Evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments 00206, The Field Experiments Website.
- Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
- Uri Benzion & Amnon Rapoport & Joseph Yagil, 1989. "Discount Rates Inferred from Decisions: An Experimental Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 270-284, March.
- Ximena Cadena & Antoinette Schoar & Alexandra Cristea & Héber M. Delgado-Medrano, 2011. "Fighting Procrastination in the Workplace: An Experiment," NBER Working Papers 16944, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Loewenstein, George & Prelec, Drazen, 1992. "Anomalies in Intertemporal Choice: Evidence and an Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 573-97, May.
- Novarese, Marco & Di Giovinazzo, Viviana, 2013. "Promptness and Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 49746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Battaglini, Marco & Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2002.
"Self Control in Peer Groups,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3149, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Benabou, R. & Battaglini, M., 2001. "Self-Control in peer Groups," Papers 217, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Battaglini, Marco & Bénabou, Roland & Tirole, Jean, 2003. "Self-Control in Peer Groups," IDEI Working Papers 189, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- 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.
- Richard H. Thaler & Shlomo Benartzi, 2004. "Save More Tomorrow (TM): Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Saving," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S164-S187, February.
- Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2010.
"Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing,"
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 193-210, January.
- Meier, Stephan & Sprenger, Charles, 2009. "Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing," IZA Discussion Papers 4198, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Alexander L. Brown & Colin F. Camerer & Zhikang Eric Chua, 2006. "Learning and Visceral Temptation in Dynamic Savings Experiments," Levine's Bibliography 321307000000000048, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Mark Dean & Anja Sautmann, 2014. "Credit Constraints and the Measurement of Time Preferences," Working Papers 2014-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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.