IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Temptations as Impulsivity: How far are Regret and the Allais Paradox from Shoplifting?

Listed author(s):
  • Khalil, Elias L.

This paper uses shoplifting as an iconic example of succumbing to temptation, or weakness of will. It proposes that temptation is the outcome of impulsivity—i.e., biased over-confident (suboptimal) belief in success. This proposal challenges the standard literature that portrays temptation as the outcome of present-biased preferences. The payoff of the proposed modeling is that it can easily explain, first, regret, and second, the Allais paradox. Concerning regret, it is nothing but impulsivity-in-reverse: Regretting a rational decision means changing your belief about that decision so that what appeared optimal at the time now appears suboptimal. Concerning the Allais paradox (the certainty effect), it is the outcome of people’s fear of regret. Fear of regret leads people to become over-cautious, using biased under-confident beliefs that lead them to compulsive behavior such as seeking zero-risk options.

If 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.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264999315002631
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 51 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 551-559

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:551-559
DOI: 10.1016/j.econmod.2015.09.016
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as
in new window

  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2004. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2049, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  3. 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.
  4. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  5. Khalil, Elias L, 1997. "Buridan's Ass, Risk, Uncertainty, and Self-Competition: A Theory of Entrepreneurship," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 147-163.
  6. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self Control, Revealed Preferences and Consumption Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 7(2), pages 243-264, April.
  7. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
  8. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Choice and Procrastination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 121-160.
  9. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1996. "Doing It Now or Later," Discussion Papers 1172, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  11. Luís Santos-Pinto & Joel Sobel, 2005. "A Model of Positive Self-Image in Subjective Assessments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1386-1402, December.
  12. Adam Oliver, 2003. "A quantitative and qualitative test of the Allais paradox using health outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 155, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Isabelle Brocas & Juan D. Carrillo, 2008. "Theories of the Mind," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 175-180, May.
  14. Machina, Mark J, 1987. "Choice under Uncertainty: Problems Solved and Unsolved," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 121-154, Summer.
  15. Starmer, Chris & Sugden, Robert, 1993. "Testing for Juxtaposition and Event-Splitting Effects," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 235-254, June.
  16. Daniel Kahneman & Peter P. Wakker & Rakesh Sarin, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-406.
  17. Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2001. "Psychological Expected Utility Theory and Anticipatory Feelings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 55-79.
  18. Oliver, Adam, 2003. "A quantitative and qualitative test of the Allais paradox using health outcomes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 35-48, February.
  19. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2009. "Reference-Dependent Consumption Plans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 909-936, June.
  20. Loomes, Graham & Sugden, Robert, 1982. "Regret Theory: An Alternative Theory of Rational Choice under Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 805-824, December.
  21. Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:51:y:2015:i:c:p:551-559. See general 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: (Dana Niculescu)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.