Deadlines and distractions
We consider a task, demanding a sequence of efforts, that must be completed by a deadline. Effort is not contractible. Agents face shocks to their opportunity cost of time and are sometimes distracted from work. We show that agents who are often distracted may outperform agents who are distracted less often. The reason is that anticipation of distractions induces agents to start earlier for precautionary reasons. Principals can increase the probability of completion, and achieve higher profits, by strategically setting "tight" deadlines, provided that the deadlines can be extended with some positive probability.
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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.:
- Fischer, Carolyn, 2001.
"Read this paper later: procrastination with time-consistent preferences,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 249-269, November.
- Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Later: Procrastination with Time-Consistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-19, Resources For the Future.
- Sjögren, Anna & Saez-Marti, Maria, 2004. "On the Timing of Education," Working Paper Series 614, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Flavio Toxvaerd, 2004.
"Time of the Essence,"
Discussion Paper Series
dp358, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 1997.
"Incentives for Procrastinators,"
1181, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2007.
"A theory of optimal deadlines,"
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 493-513, February.
- Fischer, Carolyn, 1999. "Read This Paper Even Later: Procrastination with Time-Inconsistent Preferences," Discussion Papers dp-99-20, Resources For the Future.
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