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A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control

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  • David K. Levine
  • Drew Fudenberg

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. (JEL D11, D81)

Suggested Citation

  • David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1449-1476
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1449
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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