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Do People (Want To) Plan?

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  • John D. Hey

Abstract

This paper makes a modest contribution to investigating whether people, when tackling dynamic decision problems, formulate plans and then implement them. Assumed behaviour of this form is central to many theories of economic decision-making, yet much direct empirical evidence (from economists and particularly from psychologists) suggests that it has rather dubious empirical support. The paper begins by discussing the importance and centrality of planning to economic theories of dynamic decision-making, and then examines the difficulty of empirically investigating whether planning occurs. It then describes a simple experiment that sheds some light on this phenomenon. The findings from the experiment, although only directly relevant to the context of the experiment, do suggest that people do (want to) plan when the circumstances are appropriate. The paper concludes by discussing alternative designs. Copyright (c) Scottish Economic Society 2005.

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  • John D. Hey, 2005. "Do People (Want To) Plan?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 52(1), pages 122-138, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:52:y:2005:i:1:p:122-138
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kreps, David M. & Porteus, Evan L., 1979. "Temporal von neumann-morgenstern and induced preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 81-109, February.
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    3. Enrica Carbone & John Hey, 2001. "A Test of the Principle of Optimality," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 263-281, May.
    4. Machina, Mark J, 1989. "Dynamic Consistency and Non-expected Utility Models of Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 1622-1668, December.
    5. Cubitt, Robin P & Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1998. "Dynamic Choice and the Common Ratio Effect: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1362-1380, September.
    6. Kreps, David M & Porteus, Evan L, 1978. "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Dynamic Choice Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 185-200, January.
    7. Epstein, Larry G, 1980. "Decision Making and the Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(2), pages 269-283, June.
    8. Cubitt, Robin P, 1996. "Rational Dynamic Choice and Expected Utility Theory," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-19, January.
    9. Hammond, P.J. & , ., 1987. "Consequentialist foundations for expected utility," CORE Discussion Papers 1987016, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Conte & M. Levati, 2014. "Use of data on planned contributions and stated beliefs in the measurement of social preferences," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 201-223, February.
    2. Theodoros M. Diasakos, 2008. "Complexity and Bounded Rationality in Individual Decision Problems," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 90, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    3. Maria J. Ruiz Martos, 2017. "Individual Dynamic Choice Behaviour and the Common Consequence Effect," ThE Papers 17/01, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    4. Rodepeter, Ralf & Winter, Joachim, 1999. "Rules of thumb in life-cycle savings models," Papers 99-81, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    5. Pradiptyo, Rimawan & Sahadewo, Gumilang Aryo, 2012. "On The Complexity of Eliminating Fuel Subsidy in Indonesia; A Behavioral Approach," MPRA Paper 40045, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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